Do you have persistent vaginal pain that makes simple activities like walking and sitting uncomfortable? If yes, and you also experience painful intercourse, you could be suffering from vulvodynia. Unfortunately, women with vulvodynia often struggle to be diagnosed and end up making visits to multiple doctors who can’t help them. So how is vulvodynia diagnosed?
What Is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is chronic pain in the vulva (opening of the vagina) that has no identifiable cause such as an infection or skin disorder. Pain, itching, burning, and discharge are the most common symptoms of vulvodynia. Vulvodynia can affect women of any age.
How Is Vulvodynia Diagnosed?
Vulvodynia can be diagnosed using a vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test. The VFA test is an advanced diagnostic tool that provides a quantitative measurement of the vaginal constituents, to decide if there is an altered vaginal microflora pattern.
Studies have shown that the underlying etiology of vulvodynia is an altered vaginal microflora. The normal vaginal ecosystem contains a mixture of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. However, the good bacteria is usually dominant, and helps to keep the vaginal mucosa healthy. However, if there is a change in the bacterial milieu, this can cause the bad bacteria to multiply. The resulting vaginal secretions irritate the vestibular tissue and lead to the symptoms associated with vulvodynia.
How Is Vulvodynia Treated?
If the VFA test confirms that an altered microflora state is present, a customized treatment protocol is designed for the patient. Treatment typically consists of medications and hypocontactant skincare products. Some tangible results should occur after about four months on the treatment protocol, but it typically takes about eight months for the symptoms to resolve fully.
If you are experiencing symptoms of vulvodynia, it’s essential to contact a specialist in vulvovaginal health to get an accurate diagnosis and a customized treatment plan.
Contact the experts in vaginal care at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ for a consultation. Dr Fowler is a former consultant in Gynecology at Mayo Clinic. He is board certified in Gynecology and created this organization to handle difficult vulvovaginal cases.
You can reach them at www.fowlergyninternational.com, or by calling (480) 420-4001.