Vulvodynia is the term used to describe women who experience the sensation of vulval burning and soreness in the absence of any obvious skin condition or infection, usually as a consequence of irritation or hypersensitivity of the nerve fibres in the vulval skin. The sensation of burning and soreness of the vulva can be continuous (unprovoked vulvodynia) or on light touch to the vestibule (entrance to the vagina) e.g. from sexual intercourse or tampon use (provoked vulvodynia or vestibulodynia). Many women have symptoms which overlap between both conditions. Treatment options include drugs such as gabapentin and amitriptyline, and vestibulodynia often benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach – local anaesthetic creams, psychosexual counselling, pelvic floor physiotherapy and rarely surgery.
The pain, burning and soreness associated with vulvodynia can vary from mild discomfort to a severe constant pain which can prevent sitting down comfortably and have a detrimental effect on day-to-day functioning – sleeping, working and sexual intercourse. Itching is not usually a feature of the condition.
It is likely that a number of factors cause vestibulodynia, but often no identifiable cause can be found. Some women have a sudden onset of symptoms following a specific event; commonly a severe attack of thrush followed by topical anti-thrush treatment, or after giving birth. For a minority of women with vulvodynia, back problems such as slipped discs can cause spinal nerve compression and cause referred pain to the vulval area.
Vulvodynia is not a sexually transmitted infection and cannot be passed on to a partner. It is not a form of vaginismus (involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles), though vaginismus can develop as a response to pain. It is a medically-recognised physical condition and does not have a psychological cause. The symptoms of vulvodynia are often mistaken for thrush and repeated use of topical anti-thrush treatments can make the condition worse.
How does DermaSilk Help?
DermaSilk can help all women stay healthy, but is particularly useful in managing some of the common sexual health conditions that can severely disrupt women’s lives, often causing physical (and emotional) upset, irritation and pain. The range is proven in clinical trials to significantly reduce the symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus and Recurrent Candidosis (Thrush) and to reduce the frequency of candida recurrences.
DermaSilk may also be of benefit in the management of Vulvodynia, Bacterial Vaginosis, Herpes, Genital Warts (HPV), the menopause and other women’s health issues.
A recent clinical study, observing women with vulval discomfort as a result of skin conditions, infections or non-specific vulval pain, showed that at least two-thirds experienced an improvement in social activities, sleeping and sexual relationships through wearing DermaSilk over a four-week period. All participants in the study commented that our briefs had helped their condition. Compared to baseline, the scores for pain, burning and irritation were reduced by an average of 75%, 63% and 65% respectively over the four week period.