If you have sharp pain at the vaginal opening, it might be vestibulodynia. Unfortunately, female genital pain often goes undiagnosed because it is inadequately researched and therefore not properly understood.
What is Vestibulodynia?
Vestibulodynia is also known as localized vulvodynia. It is characterized by chronic pain around the opening of the vagina and the vestibule. Vestibulodynia pain is sometimes described as stabbing and shooting and often occurs with intercourse, making the experience painful and unpleasant. Other symptoms of vestibulodynia include rawness, stinging, burning, and itching.
What Causes Vestibulodynia?
The cause of vestibulodynia was unknown for many years. However, Dr. R. Stuart Fowler, conducted years of clinical research and observation that provided an understanding of the etiology of vestibulodynia. Dr. Fowler is a vulvovaginal specialist and the founding physician of Fowler GYN International (FGI).
Dr. Fowler observed that most cases of vulvodynia is caused by an altered vaginal microflora pattern. An altered vaginal microflora occurs when the healthy vaginal ecosystem is disrupted, leading to an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria. When the vagina is in a healthy state, it is dominated by the ‘good’ bacteria or lactobacilli.
How is Vulvodynia Treated?
Vulvodynia (subtype ALV) can be treated by restoring the vaginal microflora to normal. When the microflora is in an altered state the vaginal secretions irritate the tissues resulting in the symptoms associated with vulvodynia. Once the health of the microflora is restored, the vaginal secretions are again neutral, so the symptoms will resolve.
Dr. Fowler developed the Vaginal Fluid Analysis (VFA) test to identify altered vaginal microflora patterns. The VFA test provides a comprehensive analysis of the vaginal secretions.
FGI uses a customized treatment protocol to treat vestibulodynia. The combination of medications and hypocontactant skincare products is formulated to restore balance to the vaginal microflora.
When Will I See Results?
It typically takes 8-12 months for patients to see an ideal response from the treatment protocol. However, they must commit to seeing the treatment protocol through to get the relief they need.