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Conditions

Vulvodynia

Vaginas

This unpleasant condition causes chronic pain and discomfort in the vulval area, with the most common symptoms including stinging, burning, irritation and rawness. The condition can vary in severity; for some they experience only mild discomfort, but for others it can severely inhibit their normal lives and prevent enjoyment of sexual activities. There are treatments available, including anti-depressant and anti-convulsant drugs, but there are also creams and gels that can be applied to help with the pain. With up to 15% of women suffering with this condition, you can be sure that you’re not alone, and your GP will be able to help.

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Oh my god what a relief it is hearing i am not alone. i suffer from cuts and sores around my vagina and have been to so many doctors and specialists and tried so many different creams but have been unsuccessful. sex is out of the question and even undewear irrates or cuts me. It is so depressing and ruining my relationship. i am only 24 but havent been happy in such a long time and it is all down to this. i dono wat to i can do?i keep telling myself i will have to deal with it as it is something i will have for rest my life, but its so hard to stay positive, i wish there was something i can do. Im just so happy im not alone.





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hi i have rather big lips in my vagina and it bulges out in my pants and people can see in the changing rooms or in swim suits. I dont want to get a boyfriend because i have to have sex at some point but i am really embarrassed about it and scared he makes fun of me and tells his mates. please help.





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Julie your jeans envy actually cheered me up - I too look fondly at the lovely jeans I used to wear, that's why I was so pleased to find the next loose summer trousers that have a bit of a jeans look. Their natural fibre so they don't seem to irritate me. I did get back into my jeans two years ago but a womens health physio gave me poor advice to just go for it with sex and it caused a flare up. Its nice to hear I'm not mental when I look at other girls & think they must be normal in those trousers, however I do comfort myself when I see the odd muffin top! I think the trouble is because it is something you would not want to talk about (believe me my sister does not even fully know and only knows a bit now after 6 years) its hard to think that many people suffer. After all I go out of my way to hide it from people & look perfectly healthy. However my mother suffers too & its thought to have a hereditory link. The more we bang on about it and pester the doctors the more breakthroughs will come. I have had my darkest days with this but I'm still carrying on and got 90% better before my relapse and I am slowly getting there one step forward at a time. I actually find if all else fails a qtr to a half of diazipram (spelling?) helps the muscles relax. It does give you bonkers dreams though. Plus I can't stress the importance of relaxation enough - I know it feels impossible when your in pain. Glen Harrold's hypnotherapy is good for beginners, I am a big Deepak Chopra fan. Its a bit bonkers but he has got something that really works just to help sleep & take the edge of your pain. Unfortunately your mind is not your friend sometimes when in distress. This forum has been really good for me & I will try nelson's cream instead of the calendula sometime. Don't give up on yourself anyone & don't let your doctor either!





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I am 19 and have been suffering from these symptoms for about a year. I have spent hours and hours searching the internet and am convinced i have vulvodynia, although the numerous visists to doctors haven't diagnosed it yet. I find it really hard to deal with and I am in a long term relationship and often feel i am not a real woman as I can't have great sex, and approach every time with the thought that it will hurt but i have to just get through it and i'm scared this will affect my attitide to sex later on. None of my friends understand what its like or how bad it is, so its hard to talk to someone about it. I don't know what to do anymore and it seems that there is no cure. Would be great to talk to some of u about it. Thanks x





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i am in a sexual realationship with 2 years but everytime i have intercouse i get a really neasty burning felling and the day after it would still be burning.it messed up my first realtionship and im going into another one. do i have vulvodynia or what do i have?? can any help me???





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I began to experience extreme soreness and itching around the vulva some nine months ago. At age 60 I still had a very active sex life with my permanent partner however this became so painful it has now ended. After a six week wait I visited a gynae today and after waiting two hours to see him he showed little interest in my condition suggesting, as everyone else has experienced, thrush. I have had more attacks of thrush during my lifetime than hot dinners so know the symptoms and this is NOT thrush. He did offer the valuable advice to keep my nails short and avoid wearing nail varnish! The gynae was distracted by two phone calls and gave me little opportunity to explain my symptoms properly and ended our appointment early by rushing off to an emergency. I am no further forward than I was nine months ago and am so frustrated and depressed. However I do feel so sorry for any younger women with this dreadful condition as I just don't know how I would have coped years ago. I too wear just cotton knickers and now rarely trousers/jeans but found that any creams just further irritated the condition so use Simple Derma Intensive Relief shower cream and plain white toilet paper. I also bend over when shampooing so that the shampoo doesn't run down my body or use nizoral shampoo. All of these measures have eased the general soreness/itching but nothing so far has relieved the painful interecourse.





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I have severe abdominal pain. I thought it was like severe period pain but I also had a gnawing pain in my kidney. All urine and blood tests came back clear of infection. As I had periods that would start,stop and start again I assumed it was my uterus. I had a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. They removed uterine polyps and drained an ovarian cyst. I thought this was it but 2 weeks later the pain returned with a vengence. I was told by colorectal specialist I had abdominal headache. I was told by my gynaecologist to have a myrena coil fitted. I did this without anaesthetic at my doctors and screamed the place down. I struggled with this for 15 weeks with additional spasms and even more severe pain where I was rolling around in agony. I was told this was IBS and I had a hyper sensitive vagina. I had the coil removed. The pain continued. I went to see a pain specialist who told me over and over that I was 'obsessing' about my pain. By now I could not see a life a head with this 'fire' through my abdomen and constant gnawing in my lower abdomen. It was only when I had small release of urine on moving in my seat that I thought it was bladder related. I got see a uroligist who diagnosed Interstistial Cystis after an op to do biopsy and bladder distention. I am on co-codamol, tramadol, amatryptaline which help. I am having a course of bladder instilation called Cystistat and I hope this works. The bladder distention op helped and I think saved my sanity, enabled me to pee normally(I dont have urgency just had to cencentrate on letting go)and possibly saved my life as I could no-longer cope. The pain is 24/7 and still bad but I have medication that now can bring it down. I also suspect that I had vulvodynia with IC. This has taken 4 years to be treated. Very few doctors know about IC. If you have this good luck and persevere dont go without treatment or people telling you it is all in the mind.





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Hello. i have been suffering from this mentally challenging burning, rawness and iritation for a year now. im 23 and i have been backwards and forwards to the docs. it got me so down because noone knew what it was. i couldnt eat, sleep and became highly anxious. i have managed to overcome this now as the doctor put me on anti depressants as it got me down so much. i still have it now and again, i have been given lidocane and eparderm to use as a barrier cream. it still gets me down and very tearful, i just want it to go away. to look at everything seems fine, but its not. none of my friends have this and it seemed to have taken over my life. i have come a long way and know i will just have to live with it, until it goes. is there any women that can suggest anything to ease the burning when it comes?





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I have very large labia, it embarasses me loads as when i am in the gym changing rooms as you can see a bulge in my underwear. Also, when i have sex my boyfriend he doesnt like how it looks so he often looks away while im sorting us out down there. Is there anything i can do which is not surgery related to reduce the size? Please help, this is really embarassing.





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hi im 30 every time i take the hair away from down below it hurts and dont like haveing hair.If i use wax it hurts my scar (c section scar)if i use a razor that hurts all over ive used all differnt hair cream removers and when its on its fine but then after i take it off its as if its burnt just at the bottom on the left side lip ive i dont no what to use or what to do as ive tryed a lot of things and im not getting anywhere can you help??





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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