How does vulvodynia affect a woman's life?

Vulvodynia is not a life-threatening condition, but it can be a stressful and life-altering one in many ways.

  • Pain from sitting for prolonged periods can make it difficult to do your job.
  • The difficulty or impossibility of sexual intercourse can damage relationships.
  • Like any kind of pain, it can affect the ability to sleep well.
  • Clothing options can be limited.

Research has linked vulvodynia to depression and anxiety.

When should I see a doctor about vulvodynia?

Some women hesitate to discuss this problem. If you have persistent pain in the area of your vulva, you should tell your gynecologist or primary care physician. If it gets worse, you should call again.

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.

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