How is vulvodynia diagnosed?

Vulvodynia is diagnosed by ruling out other conditions that might be causing the pain. Your doctor will ask about your medical and surgical history, where it hurts, when it hurts and how badly it hurts. An examination of the vulva area might include touching areas around the vulva with a cotton swab to evaluate the location and intensity of the pain. A pelvic exam will be completed to assess your pelvic floor muscles and help to identify any other areas of pain.

Tests might include:

  • Swabs to test for infection
  • Biopsy: An examination of tissue removed from the area. This test is not done routinely and is only performed if there is a lesion or abnormal exam finding.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/03/2018.

References

  • National Vulvodynia Association. What is Vulvodynia? Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • National Institutes of Health. Vulvodynia. Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Vulvodynia. Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vulvodynia. Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Colposcopy. Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • RadiologyInfo.org. Nerve Blocks. Accessed 8/28/2018.
  • Bornstein J, Goldstein A, Stockdale C. 2015 ISSVD, ISSWSH, and IPPS Consensus Terminology and Classification of Persistent Vulvar Pain and Vulvodynia. American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. April 2016;20(2):126-130. Accessed 8/28/2018.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy