Vulvovaginal infections are easier to treat today with more accurate, rapid laboratory testing that has become available in the last few years. Often there is a component of unrecognized contact irritation from soaps or other hygiene products in cases of recurring infections. For established patients the office is set up to allow you to come without an appointment to provide a sample for testing. When the test results are returned (generally the next business day) the appropriate medication is sent to your pharmacy.
Pain in the vulva or the vaginal opening may be a referred pain along an injured nerve associated with back problems or hernias. The pain may be related to improper function of the nerves (Vestibulitis Syndrome or Vulvodynia).
Several newer medications can be very helpful resolving symptoms and restoring function including sexual intercourse.
Many of my patients have previously been told that the vaginal pain was “in your head” and “you need to drink a glass of wine and relax. ” This is another area where internet research can produce conflicting, confusing information.
It is disturbing to me how frequently patients with vulvodynia have seen several doctors and gone many years without a diagnosis or treatment. They are often very relieved to be certain that the problem is not “all in the head”. Almost all patients with Vulvodynia can be treated with full resolution of the problem.