Here are a few things YOU can do to help relieve symptoms
Avoid Potential Irritants
It may help to avoid things that could be irritating the vulva. These might include certain soaps, medications, or douches. Here are a few tips:
• Use dermatologically approved detergent and don’t use fabric softener on panties.
• Use unscented toilet paper that’s soft and white.
• Wear 100% white cotton underwear, menstrual pads, and tampons.
• Avoid getting shampoo on the vulvar area.
• Avoid perfumed creams or soaps, pads or tampons, and contraceptive
creams or spermicides.
• Avoid hot tubs or pools with lots of chlorine.
• Rinse the vulva with cool water after urination and intercourse.
• Avoid foods that make urine more irritating. This may include foods such as greens, beans, berries, chocolate, or nuts.
• Wear loose-fitting pants and skirts; don’t wear pantyhose.
• Keep the vulva clean and dry.
Help Ease Pressure
Certain activities put pressure on the vulva.
• Use a water-soluble lubricant during sex.
• Avoid activities that put direct pressure on the vulva. This includes bicycling and horseback riding.
• Sit on a foam rubber doughnut.
These steps may help relieve vulvar pain:
• Soak in lukewarm or cool sitz baths.
• After intercourse, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped inside a hand towel.
• Alternatively, topical heat applied with a heating pad
can reduce pain
you may need to try a combination of treatments for the best results.
• Local anesthetics, such as lidocaine
• Topical estrogen
• Nerve blocks
• Physical therapy
, which involves exercise to strengthen pelvic muscles and lessen muscle spasms
If you have a type of vulvodynia
called vulvar vestibulitis
syndrome, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove painful tissue, especially if other options have not brought relief.