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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Vulvodynia: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System


Alternate Names : Essential Vulvodynia, Pudendal Neuralgia, Chronic Essential Vulvar Pain

Vulvodynia | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

There is no known cure for this condition. Many different types of treatment may be tried. Different women respond to different treatments, and some women do not respond at all. Common treatments include:

  • avoidance of soaps and other products that may irritate the area
  • special diets, such as a diet low in oxalate. Oxalate is found in many different foods, such as celery and grapes.
  • local "numbing" creams, which can be used before sex to reduce discomfort in some women
  • antidepressant drugs, such as amitriptyline or fluoxetine
  • chronic pain drugs, such as gabapentin, a drug sometimes used to treat seizures
  • biofeedback. This is a process by which people learn to control certain body functions they are not usually aware of. For instance, women can be taught to reduce muscle spasms in the vagina.
  • support groups, which help women deal with their frustration by meeting others with a similar problem
  • surgery, which is only used for severe cases that do not respond to any other treatments
  • Treatment must be tailored to each woman. Many women get better eventually, even without treatment.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    All medications have possible side effects. These include allergic reactions, stomach upset, and others. Specific side effects depend on the drugs used. Surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and reaction to any pain medicines used.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    No treatment is guaranteed to be effective. Many women go through many treatments before they find one that works for them. The course of the condition is unpredictable. Some women have symptoms that come and go, whether treatment is used or not.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Women generally monitor their symptoms at home. They should report any changes to their healthcare providers.

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    Vulvodynia: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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