Vulvadynia means ongoing pain in the vulva area when there is nothing abnormal to see and no known cause for the pain. The precise cause is unknown.
The nerve endings in the skin of the vulva appear to become over-sensitive and send abnormal signals which are felt as a sensation of pain.
It can be felt as burning, stinging or raw discomfort and may be constant or intermittent. Symptoms may occur in a small area or involved the entire vulva. It can occur spontaneously or when the vulva is touched. The ongoing pain can cause significant stress and anxiety and can affect relationships.
Having Vulvadynia can also effect being able to use menstrual products. As it occurs in the vulva area it can be painful to insert a tampon or menstrual cup into your vagina. Although once a tampon or menstrual cup is inside there is no pain, it is just the insertion process that can be unbearable.
Using 100% cotton cloth pads or period underwear may be your best option if you are finding inserting products painful.
If you think you may have Vulvadynia, seek help. I have some great information I can email you about this condition if you would like to read more.
Suggestions on how to reduce your pain with Vulvadynia:
- Avoiding soap and using a soap substitute, barrier cream to protect the area from irritation.
- Avoid tight clothing
- Avoid high levels of stress
- Communicate with your partner if this is affecting your relationship
- Mindfulness exercises
- Possible pain medication from your GP
- Local anesthetic ointment may help reduce pain.
120,000 people are affected by endometriosis in New Zealand, which is about 1 in 10.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue, similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrium), is found in places outside of the uterus. It is commonly found in the pelvic region on the thin pelvic lining called the peritoneum. It may also be found in the pelvic ligaments, ovaries and bowel and can occasionally be found in places outside the pelvis such as in scar tissue, the bellybutton and lungs.
The cause is not yet fully understood and symptoms include:
- pain (period pain, bowel pain, ovulation pain, sex pain)
- Bloating, diarrhoea, constipation
- Sub-fertility or infertility
- Tiredness, low energy
- Lower back pain
- abnormal bleeding
- Bladder problems
Endometriosis can only be diagnosed with certainty by viewing the pelvis with keyhole surgery.
Early intervention is vital to improve the quality of life, help the prevent progression of the disease and ensure fertility is not compromised.
If you think you have Endometriosis please seek help and talk about your symptoms with someone who can get you access to the treatment you need.
Excepts taken from @endometriosisnz www.nzendo.org.nz
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterised by cysts in the ovaries. It causes irregular periods as ovaries do not release eggs or ovulate regularly. Ovaries become enlarged and get filled with fluid sacs or follicles that surround eggs. Unexpected weight gain and hormonal imbalance are other risks posed by PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that causes irregular periods and the menstrual cycle, and affects between 8-10% of the menstruating population.
PCOS is a common hormonal condition where small cysts form on the ovaries and the ovaries become enlarged. These cysts are where the condition gets its name, as 'polycystic' means 'many cysts'. The cysts prevent the regular release of eggs which causes irregular periods. The condition also releases high levels of male hormones in the body, which may result in excess facial or body hair.
For women with PCOS, these hormonal imbalances cause a number of symptoms such as irregular or absent periods, weight gain, acne, excessive body hair, mood changes, dark patches of skin and thinning head hair. PCOS can also affect the balance of insulin in your body.
Because women with PCOS may not ovulate regularly or may not ovulate at all, some women may have difficulties getting pregnant.
PCOS has no cure. The most effective way to treat PCOS is by improving your lifestyle. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you with this and aid weight loss. Losing weight and reducing stress can be very helpful for people with PCOS.
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