Vulvodynia Diagnosis - How to Diagnose Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia diagnosis

Since vulvodynia can be confused with other vulvo-vaginal problems, it is important to develop a comprehensive history and have a physical examination to distinguish what problems, if any, are occurring in the genital pelvis.

As part of the detailed evaluation, your health care professional will perform an examination of the external genitals and vaginal mucosa or lining.  Genital cultures may be preformed to rule out underlying sexually transmitted diseases or vaginitis. Vulvodynia may be caused by injury to the pudendal nerve, which may be caused by surgical injury or trauma, orthopedic or sports injury, childbirth and a variety of other causes.

A cotton swab test may also be preformed, where the provider will take a moistened cotton swab and check for specific localized pain as he or she progressively touches specific areas of the vulvar vestibule. The vestibule is often labeled similarly as a face of a clock. Pain from a Q tip test may be specifically localized to a certain region, often at 5 and 7 o’clock, which coincides with the area of the glands.

Some vulvar specialist may even do a vulvoscopy where they look at the vulvar tissues with a microscope. Sometimes they can see inflammation and redness in the vestibule at the areas of 5 and 7 o’clock,(where the vestibular glands are located.

In selected cases, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT scan may be performed to assess the spinal cord and rule out underlying anatomical problems that could be impacting the nerves that supply the vulvar region.There is a link between vulvodynia and painful bladder syndromes like interstitial cystitis and some women may need a urological evaluation to address both syndromes concurrently.



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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