Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life with Vulvodynia




Women who suffer from Vulvodynia experience debilitating pain that make daily tasks that others take for granted painful or in some cases impossible.

These tasks include:

-Sitting
-Walking
-Exercising
-Running
-Having sexual intercourse
-Driving
-Working
-Sleeping
-Urinating
-Wearing certain articles of clothing such as underwear, jeans and swim suits
-Socializing
-Biking
-Horseback riding
-Using tampons

The list can go on with different factors added and subtracted depending on the patient and the severity of their case.

Often, when the media does choose to cover Vulvodynia, they will portray it as an illness that makes women unable to have sex. Although this factor can be true, it is far from the worst part of the illness. Patients with severe cases of Vulvodynia, who have trouble sitting and walking on a daily basis, are often angered by the media focusing on the sexual aspect.

Some women with Vulvodynia may at some point end up losing a boyfriend, husband, friend, job or ability to participate in a beloved hobby due to their illness. This can lead to depression, stress and anxiety in the patients.

What can be done?

As of now, there is no cure for Vulvodynia. However, over only the past six years, successful treatments have been discovered that can help women lower their symptoms and have a chance at a normal life. Some women may continue to suffer on a daily basis because of this condition, but many groups of patients who do go into periods of remission once the right treatment is established.

Establishing the correct combination of treatments can take time and trial and error. Many patients suffer very much while trying to find the treatments that will work for them.

Available treatments include:

-Antidepressants
-Local anesthetic gels
-Topical estrogen
-Narcotics
-Physical therapy
-Surgery
-Anticonvulsants
-Neuropathic medications
-Trigger point injections



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