Estimates suggest that about one in thirty females suffer from a condition characterized by burning, rawness, itching and pain around the vaginal opening. The condition is often chronic in nature and may last for several years. This condition is referred to as vulvodynia, which implies pain in the external visible part of the female genital. The itching is often located around the labia (i.e. the two folds of skin) and the clitoris.
There are a wide range of factors that are responsible for the pain and itching in the vulvar region. These symptoms may differ in persistence and may range from mild irritation to severe and disabling pain. The pain is diffused and intermittent, though it can be localized, which makes the diagnosis of the condition fairly difficult. Most females with the condition complain in painful coition.
Causes Of Vulvar Pain And Itching
There are a wide range of factors that are responsible for Vulvar pain. These causes include,
- Injury or irritation of the nerve that supply to the vulva, which may result in localized hypersensitivity and often is manifested in the form of pain without inflammatory reaction.
- Candida infection is another common cause of itching and burning pain around the vulva region.
- Allergies to use of tampons or condoms or high levels of oxalate crystals in the urine can also be common causes of vulvar pain.
- Muscle spasms of pelvic group of muscles, resulting in painful coition can also be considered to be a cause.
- Though there is limited information, sexually transmitted diseases like herpes, yeast infections or other forms of bacterial infections can result in itching and pain in the vulvar region.
Symptoms Of Vulvar Pain
The vulvar pain and irritation is often associated with a host of symptoms. These symptoms include,
- Inflammation with tender and red spots around the vulvar region and the vagina. Often these tender spots are associated with pain on pressure or attempted sexual intercourse or insertion of a tampon.
- Burning and itching is commonly observed with vaginal pain. Itching is often associated with white and offensive discharge from the vagina. Often pimples or elevations around the vagina and vulvar region may be observed.
- The pain may be intermittent, triggered by pressure or continuous in nature. Continuous pain is indicative of nerve damage, which is associated with irritation of the nerve root and responsible for the pain.
Treatment For Vulvar And Vaginal Pain
The treatment for pain around the vaginal opening would depend upon the underlying cause. Here are some simple home remedies, exercises and dietary suggestions,
- Reduce the intake of oxalate foods which are responsible for the itching and irritation. Avoid peanuts, celery, spinach or supplements containing calcium citrate.
- Local application of turmeric paste mixed with tea tree essential oil is beneficial. Turmeric and tree tea oil are antiseptic and also provide a soothing effect on the skin. Tea tree oil may sting slightly on application.
- Back exercises may be beneficial to reduce nerve irritation, which may be responsible for vulvar pain. Yoga exercises like cobra pose or warrior pose can be beneficial in strengthening the spine and reduce nerve irritation.