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Does it hurt when you touch your vagina? Well, you might have vulvodynia

Published on:18 July 2021, 12:00pm IST
Vulvodynia is characterised by chronic pain in the vulva, and doesn’t really have a clear identifiable cause. In a recent Instagram post, Dr Nivedhita Manokaran aka dr_nive_untaboos has shared everything around this condition.
Geetika Sachdev
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vulvodynia
Watch out before pain related to sex. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There are some many taboos that exist, especially when it comes to women and their bodies. For the longest time, women have been unaware about everything related to their sexual health and wellness. Fortunately, there are some credible influencers like Dr Niveditha Manokaran (dr_nive_untaboos on Instagram), who have been consistently trying to bust myths and educate their audiences on all the things that matter.

In her recent Instagram post, Dr Manokaran has touched upon the subject of vulvodynia. As the name suggests, this is a condition that affects the area on the outside of a woman’s genitals. It is generally accompanied by a burning and stinging sensation, as well as itchiness. In some cases, the pain goes on for more than three months, and the cause can’t really be identified. 

Here’s what she writes, “Individuals with sexual pain disorders experience genital pain just before, during, or after sexual intercourse or other sexual activities that involve the clitoris, vulva, vagina, and/or perineum.”

Check out the post for yourself:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Niveditha Manokaran (@dr_nive_untaboos)


There are many possible causes of pain related to sex: 

The leading cause in women less than 50 years has been localized provoked vulvodynia. In women above 50 years, urogenital atrophy, a symptom of menopause, is the leading cause. The lack of female hormone estrogen is what affects the vagina, urethra and bladder. That’s also because estrogen levels decline drastically after menopause. 

A little more about vulvodynia

Vulvodynia refers to the pain that is provoked by touching the vulva. There are a few specific types of vulvodynia: 

  • Localized provoked vulvodynia: It is referred to the pain, which is provoked by touching the vestibule. 

– Primary vulvodynia: A woman has pain from her first experience with a tampon, speculum or sexual relations. 

– Secondary vulvodynia: The pain develops after a period of comfortable sexual relations.

vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is chronic pain in the vulva, the area on the outside of a woman’s genitals. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“There may be virtually no physical findings, or there may be areas of tenderness, increased sensitivity, or decreased sensitivity,” she adds.

  • Pudendal neuralgia: It is a type of generalized vulvodynia, which is characterised by neuralgic pain in the distribution of the pudendal nerve (vulva, vagina, clitoris, perineum and rectum). Pudendal nerve entrapment is one cause of PN, however, there are multiple other causes. 
Here’s all that you need to remember:
  • Make sure you do not self-diagnose, because it can do more harm than good. 
  • Remember pain in your vulva/vagina during or after sex is certainly not normal 
  • It is not as uncommon as you think 
  • There are several treatments available 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.