Sunday, 20 September, 2020

Self-Help Tips for Women With Vulvodynia


Vulvodynia is a condition where women have chronic pain in the vulvar area, which lasts for months. Symptoms of vulvar itching, burning, stinging, irritation and pain can cause physical, sexual and psychological distress. This malady may be due to many causes including infections, hormone depletion, nerve damage, benign skin issues and rarely malignant conditions. There are different areas and quantity of pain, according to the location of the irritation and inflammation. Medical treatments range from vestibulectomy (removing affected tissue and replacing with less sensitive vaginal tissue), Interferon injections, biofeedback, antibiotics, prescription pain medicines and topical anesthetics.

On a more nature note, these self-help tips may help to relieve symptoms and prevent further irritation. These are measures to follow routinely to prevent flare-ups.

Make personal hygiene a number one priority. Gynecologists recommend washing with only warm water because soap is very irritating. Some women find Dove Sensitive Bar and/or adding oatmeal-based Aveeno to the bathwater helpful and soothing. Totally avoid bubble baths and use of feminine hygiene products that contain perfume and powders. When in a flare-up, taking lukewarm or cool sitz baths several times a day may be helpful. Urination can be stinging, so spritzing with cool water from a peri-bottle or if you have a bidet can be a blessing. Some tips can be followed through the patients for treating with the problem of mental toughness. The advice of the experts should be great to meet with the specifications. No irritation should be caused to the people with mental depression and illness. 

Provide special care for laundry and clothing. Make sure to wear only white cotton underwear and make sure to double rinse this underwear and other garments that come in contact with the vulva. Use a free and clear type unscented detergent. Most women with vulvodynia prefer skirts to tight-fitting pants that cause irritation. Wearing long skirts avoids the need for pantyhose, which is not the more comfortable garment and this increases moisture in the affected area.

Diet is linked to vulvodynia. It has been noted by the National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) that modifying one’s diet can sometimes make a difference in a person’s pain with this condition. Going on a low oxalate diet and taking calcium citrate has been helpful to many women. Foods with high oxalates should be avoided such as spinach, peanuts, celery, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate, baked beans, okra, summer squash, sweet potatoes, eggplant, wheat bran and tea. Oxalates high in urine form crystals, which are known to cause burning while voiding and irritated vulvar tissue. Taking calcium citrate is helpful to prevent oxalate formation. There is still a debate whether oxalates really cause vulvodynia, however it is an easy and non-invasive approach to comfort.

Try to fit in some exercise. This may be the last thing on your mind when feeling pain, however there’s been evidence that forms of aerobic exercise releases endorphins which are natural painkillers circulating in the body. The hard part is finding an exercise that is comfortable for you. Cycling is tough because of the friction when sitting on a bicycle seat. Swimming may cause irritation due to the chlorine needed for sanitation. Some women find swimming in the ocean or a lake tolerable. After a workout, treat yourself to a comforting sitz bath or cold pack wrapped in a towel and placed in your sore areas for about 15 minutes.

Unfortunately this disorder is one that plagues me, having started symptoms during perimenopause. It’s something I don’t wish for anyone, but trying some of these home remedies may put out the fire and get you into a state of remission.