Pain can be experienced with intercourse or other sexual contact, tampon use, a medical exam, riding a bike, sitting, or wearing tight pants. Pain can be constant or intermittent. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, you might have a condition called vestibulodynia, vestibulitis or vulvodynia.
Often misdiagnosed as a yeast infection or psychological issue, the cause of this condition is unknown. Medical examinations and laboratory test results are negative for bacterial and fungal infections and skin conditions. The medical community believes that vestibulodynia, (previously called vulvar vestibulitis syndrome) and vulvodynia may be caused by injury or irritation of the pain nerves. Most women with these conditions have increased tension or spasm of the pelvic floor (the muscles that support the pelvic organs and surround the vaginal opening). This spasm is also called vaginismus.
At Dayan Physiotherapy, we use biofeedback to help women learn how to relax these muscles (the pelvic floor), and if there is pain, what to do to minimize or eliminate the discomfort. In this way, anxiety can be eliminated as women take back control of their vaginas!
Information regarding nonpainful sexual activity and the physiology of pain and of the male and female sexual response are also important treatment components. As several different treatment options, including medications and counselling, can be helpful, we can help direct you to other healthcare professionals knowledgeable about this condition, or if you already have other supports, we commit to working as part of your team.