Vulvodynia is a painful condition of the vulva that is not the result of infection. Most often, it’s a burning sensation or extreme sensitivity to nerves in the vulva. No one knows what causes it, but it is a medical condition that can be highly debilitating if left untreated.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize the pain and live a more active uninhibited lifestyle. Here are several natural treatments for vulvodynia you can try at home for immediate relief.
If you suffer from vulvodynia, it’s important to keep the vaginal area cool and dry. Wear light cotton underwear during the day. Consider sleeping without any at night. Avoid panty hose. Wear thigh high or knee high hose instead. Don’t wear anything tight fitting — including skirts or pants. When swimming or exercising, remove wet clothing as soon as possible.
Launder with Care
Pay attention to how you do laundry as certain products can irritate the vaginal area. Only use gentle detergents recommended by dermatologists. Purex or All Ultra Free Clear are both excellent choices. Always double rinse underwear to fully remove soap or other harmful chemicals. Avoid fabric softener.
Personal & Intimate Products
Be mindful of anything that goes “below the belt.” Use toilet paper that is soft, white and unscented. Only use 100% organic cotton pads and tampons. Avoid scented soaps, bubble bath, and creams. Don’t use shampoo in the vaginal area. Shampoo can sometimes flow from your head down to your vagina — be mindful to avoid contact as much as possible.
Bathing & Bathroom Protocol
Wash gently, using lukewarm water and your hand — avoid washcloths. Cool sitz baths can help relieve burning and irritation. Following a shower, apply vaginal lubrication without parabens or petroleum ingredients.
Pee before you have a full bladder. Try to wash your vagina with lukewarm water following urination.
Avoid hot tubs and chlorinated pools.
Diet plays a big role in the symptoms of vulvodynia — for better or worse. You may have to experiment around with food to see what works best for your body.
Processed foods may make things worse, as can foods high in caffeine, acid, and sugar. Try removing certain items from your diet to see how your body reacts. Everyone is different. Work to find a diet regimen that keeps symptoms at bay. And perhaps start with avoiding the inflammatory food list (sign up for newsletter and download).
Be sure to eat plenty of vegetable fiber to stay regular. Drink plenty of water — always keep a water bottle on hand and drink throughout the day.
Before sex, apply a water based lubricant. Avoid contraceptive creams and spermicides. A topical anesthetic like lidocaine gel can help numb the vagina to prevent irritation.
Pee after sex and rinse off with cool or lukewarm water. If you feel a burning sensation after sex, place a frozen ice cube or gel pack in a small towel against your vagina for 15 minutes.
Bio-identical hormones and PRP therapies can be very helpful.
Activities & Exercise
Be mindful of your activities, especially exercise. Anything that puts external pressure against your vagina can exacerbate the symptoms of vulvodynia. Avoid bike riding or horseback riding, and instead do activities like running and yoga. Stretch and relaxation exercises work best.
Stand often. If you work at a desk, consider using a standing desk at least periodically throughout the day. A foam rubber donut can make sitting easier and less uncomfortable.
Health & Wellness Therapy
One of the reasons vulvodynia can be unrelenting is because the pain does not come from the nerves people assume need to be treated. Instead, the pelvic pain comes from fascia injuries to the thighs, pelvis, gluteals, and abdomen. Like most other enigmatic chronic pain, unkink and restore integrity of fascia from injuries of a lifetime, and the pain goes away. Working with a health and wellness doctor like Dr Blatman can be beneficial in unkinking and healing the damaged tissue to provide relief.