Vulvar Pain - Possible Causes of Vulvar Pain (Pain in Vulva)

Vulvar Pain

Vulvar pain is the most commonly reported symptom and has a variety of different characteristics. It can be sharp, stabbing, stinging, or even burning. Pain in the vulva may be constant or intermittent. It may also be characterized as generalized, where the pain is felt in the entire general area of the vulva or localized to a specific area of tissue. Women often use words like: dull, sharp, throbbing, aching, raw, prickly, crampy, gnawing, sore, stretching, stabbing or paper cut like when using adjectives to describe vulvar pain. 

Pain can be divided into two types:  acute and chronic. Acute vulvar pain may mean that an immediate injury or insult has occurred and once the condition is addressed or treated, the pain is diminished. Acute pain may resolve in a short period of time. Chronic pain is more often characterized by a long term experience.

Since pain is a personal experience, it may be helpful for you to draw a pain diagram to give to your health care professional so that he or she may better understand where you are experiencing discomfort. The National Vulvodynia Association recommends recording your pain with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) on which pain is rated on a linear scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (excruciating pain). A pain diary will be helpful and you should record the location, date, time, pain rating from 0-10, and aggravating or alleviating factors. Be sure to bring your records and medical pain record to your medical visits as your provider will use this information to better understand the severity of the symptoms. 



Read more about symptoms affecting the vulva and vagina that may be causing discomfort or pain.

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Read more about vulvar and vaginal disorders that affect women and their quality of life.

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