Hi Aunt Vadge, 

Since about July, nearly every month, my vulva hurts. It’s a really weird kind of pain though… It’s a sort of dull pain. I haven’t done anything about it, although I did tell my mum and she said that it might have something to do with my period, but the pain always comes on different dates. It usually lasts a day or two. I’m quite worried. 

I did Google the symptoms but nothing seemed to match what I have…I hoped you might be able to help!

Thank you. 
Aching
Age: 16 
Country: spain

_____

Hi there Aching,

Usually an aching vulva would be related to your period, since the structures of your pelvis are all connected to each other somehow, and all connect via nerves. What can happen is that if one part of your pelvis (spine included) is tense, inflamed, or out of place, it can affect the others.

Many women get an aching vulva at their period because the uterus is connected to other structures, but the nerves all enter the spinal column at the same place – the natural inflammation of your uterus during your period can cause nearby nerves and tissue to also become inflamed. This can then cause some pains in strange places, like lower back pain, pain down the legs, and pain in the vulva. While this is not dangerous, it can be really uncomfortable.

Now, just because you don’t have your period when the pain comes, doesn’t mean that this same issue isn’t occurring, but from a different cause. You may have a vertebra out of place, or have something gentle pressing on a nerve ending inside your spine or pelvis, causing the sensation in your vulva.

My first port of call would be to A) visit a doctor to rule out anything more obvious for your pain, and then B) go and see an osteopath, and see if they can find out what’s pressing on what (if that’s the case) and how it can be alleviated. It might be quite simple. Osteopaths are excellent, gentle, and more holistic than chiropractors, so find a really experienced osteopath and tell them all your symptoms, and they may be able to offer you more help than just a doctor could.

You may be diagnosed with something called vulvodynia, but this is a name for a painful vulva with no determined cause – it isn’t a condition itself, but merely the name of a symptom, so you’ll need to keep searching for the cause and solution. There is no ‘cure’ for vulvodynia – it’s caused by something, but for every woman that cause could be different. Check out the article, though, and see what you can find out before your doctor’s appointment. You want to get the most out of the doctor and not be learning about this for the first time when you go in.

Keep a detailed diary of your symptoms – when it started, when you get the pain, how severe it is, what makes it better, what makes it worse, how long it lasts for, what you ate, anything you do differently on those days (sport?), all other body symptoms you might have, especially in your pelvic area and spine, birth control, masturbating, and any other relevant symptoms or events. Keep your dates organised – there will be a pattern that emerges, and you need to identify what it is so you can find the solution.

Write anytime, and let us know how you go!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

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