Audio: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Vulvar Pain (Vulvodynia) Video Transcription
Vulvodynia is vulvar pain. For vulvodynia to be labeled chronic, it has to be going on for over six months. Symptoms of vulvodynia include a sensation of throbbing or burning, or some patients say a rawness in the area, that can be heightened with intercourse specifically, or for some patients it’s heightened with prolonged sitting. There could be an underlying hormonal imbalance that leads to vulvodynia. There could be an allergic reaction, it could be secondary to pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, there also could be a potential injury or damage to a nerve that innervates the vulva area. An additional cause of vulvodynia could be recurrent vaginal infections.
Vulvodynia can either be constant or intermittent. It can be described as provoked or unprovoked. Provoked meaning when you touch the area there’s pain, but if you’re not touching the area there is not pain. Vulvodynia can be generalized where the entire vulvar hurts a patient, or it could be localized to a specific area in the vulva. So the pelvic floor musculature, which is a sling of muscles, can have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. It can benefit from a release of the trigger point. Sometimes it’s myofascial release from a physical therapist and sometimes it can be from a trigger point injection performed by a physician, where you would like to break up the trigger point and release the tension, ultimately increasing blood flow to the area. And blood flow is healing and provides oxygenation and will overall make the muscles feel better.