Vulva vestibulitis or localized provoked vulvodynia (LPV) is when there is pain in your vestibule, the portion of the vulva surrounding the opening of the vagina. Characterized by a stinging or burning-like pain at the vaginal opening, it’s typically provoked by sexual intercourse and the insertion of objects such as a tampon or speculum into the vagina. Sometimes it can be present during daily activities. Vulva vestibulitis can cause redness and irritation of the skin as well as pain in the glands inside the skin.
Classified as a “neuro-inflammatory” condition, vulva vestibulitis involves inflammation which causes pain as the nerves that are involved in sensing pain releases chemicals that promote inflammation, thus causing further pain. Careful examination can reveal redness and unusual sensitivity of the tissue of the vulva.
Vulva vestibulitis usually develops between the ages of 20 and 50, and although it is not caused by any single factor, it can often appear after an infection of the lower genital tract, become aggravated by acidic foods, or low levels of estrogen.
Symptoms vary in everyone and can be mild or serious to impact your daily life and sexual life. Symptoms may or may not be constant and include:
Current treatments include:
If you think you may suffer from Vulva Vestibulitis, consult with your OB/GYN.