Vulvodynia is a nerve pain in the vulvar area in females which can affect one’s sexual satisfaction. It is very common to mistaken other medical conditions for vulvodynia as its symptoms are very similar to them. However, if the pain in the vulvar area lasts for more than 3 months and your doctor has ruled out infection, skin disease or UTI etc; then it could be vulvodynia. Today we will answer the question, ‘Can Vulvodynia go away on its own?’ and also cover some natural over the counter treatment options for it.
Vulvodynia symptoms and pictures
The condition is typically characterized by burning stinging, irritation, soreness and swelling in the vulva. Many patients also experience a persistent aching or throbbing down there. These symptoms may be constant, may occur during or after sexual intercourse or might even come and go. Many times though, they come on when the area is touched during intercourse and usually occur and stop without warning.
What are its causes?
Genetic disorders, certain infections, inflammation, damage to the nerves, muscular dysfunction and certain conditions that impact the bones and muscles of the pelvis can lead to symptoms of Vulvodynia. Oral contraceptives and certain antibiotics can also trigger the symptoms of this disease.
If you are unable to enjoy sex due to constant pain in the vulvar area, you must seek medical help. Your gynecologist will examine the area thoroughly and take a complete history of allergies, infections, drugs used and so on. In extreme cases, you might need to undergo a biopsy. The examination aims to determine the degree of pain and discomfort so as to arrive at the right form of treatment.
Vulvodynia treatment over the counter
1. Lifestyle and dietary changes
Your doctor might recommend certain changes to overcome this condition. These include wearing cotton underwear during the day and going without one completely at night when sleeping. Avoid using harsh soaps, detergents, dyes, colorants, perfumes etc when suffering from this condition. Do not douche and use only warm water to wash the vagina. If sexual intercourse is difficult, use lubricants without harsh ingredients, colors or perfumes. Diet also plays an important role in managing this disease. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of alkaline foods. Avoid acidic foods like red meat, sugar, sodas, alcohol, caffeinated beverages etc.
2. Cool gel packs
If you are persistently experiencing pain, burning, itchiness and irritation, wash off the vulvar area with warm water. Use cooling gel packs to soothe the itch and pain.
3. Petroleum jelly
You can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the vagina. Make sure the product you use if oil free. This will help you lock in moisture, prevent dryness and reduce inflammation and irritation.
4. Use numbing agents prior to sexual intercourse
Women with Vulvodynia are unable to enjoy sexual intercourse due to the pain. The use of numbing agents like lidocaine gel can give much needed relief. For long term relief, doctors may prescribe botox injections, steroidal or anesthetic injections along with other Vulvodynia treatment cream.
5. Hormonal creams
Doctors also prescribe hormonal creams containing estrogen to the area to keep the vagina lubricated.
If the cause of Vulvodynia is weak muscles or bone issues in the pelvic area, then certain pelvic floor exercises can help. You can use kegel exercises or squeeze-release the muscles in the pelvis so that they become stronger. Biofeedback therapy can also help.
7. Massage/trigger point therapy
This is another natural way to treat Vulvodynia over the counter. Massage the soft tissues in the painful area to relax the tight muscles.
8. Coconut oil
Inserting coconut oil for Vulvodynia (in the vaginal opening) is a soothing natural remedy that gives instant pain relief. Many women also take coconut oil internally (1 tbsp of organic extra virgin coconut oil per day) for this condition to reduce pain and inflammation. Also applying coconut oil liberally before sexual intercourse can help.
Certain supplements aid in management of this disease. You need vitamin C, D3 and B complex to strengthen immunity and fight the pain. Magnesium and calcium citrate can help strengthen the bones in the pelvis. You may also take amino acids and Spirulina capsules to ward off pain and inflammation.
Oats are a soothing all-natural Vulvodynia treatment. Add a cup of crushed oatmeal to a hot Sitz bath and soak for 20 minutes. This remedy can relieve itch, pain, and discomfort. You can also apply oatmeal based cream to the vulvar area to prevent soreness. Eating oats help strengthen the system and drinking Oatstraw tea helps nourish and relax the muscles and skin.
11. Herbs for Vulvodynia
Many herbal remedies are effective for managing pain and inflammation associated with this condition. Use the following:
- John’s Wort– Take this herbal remedy for fighting depression that often causes pain and discomfort in the body.
- Burdock root- Tea made from this herb can relieve nerve pain. It is also available in the form of capsules, so take 2-3 capsules post meals. Use this herbal remedy for at least 30 days to see results.
- Damiana-This pain relieving herbal tea can reduce anxiety and inflammation and also increase blood flow to the pelvic region.
- Peppermint– This soothing herb can improve blood circulation. Drink hot peppermint tea when Vulvodynia symptoms flare up. Also use peppermint essential oil diluted with coconut oil in the vulvar area to ward off irritation.
- Cayenne pepper– Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which is naturally anti-inflammatory and can reduce nerve pain, inflammation etc. You can use this herb internally as well as topically. For topical application, mix a bit of cayenne pepper in castor oil and coconut oil and apply to the vulva.
12. Desitin and tea tree oil
Mix together Desitin and tea tree oil in equal portions. Apply the mixture all over the vagina after urination to fight pain, keep the area clean and reduce infections.
13. Baking soda bath
Soaking in baking soda bath for up to 20 minutes can also relieve symptoms of this disease. Add a cupful of soda to warm water and soak in it for 20 minutes. This can relieve pain, soothe irritation and also fight inflammation.
Use these 13 home remedies to keep your Vulvodynia symptoms at bay.