Vulvodynia: treatment with multiple strategies
Which treatments are considered varies from individual to individual. There is no “one” therapy or combination that helps all women equally. It depends on the symptoms, but also the suspected causes of vulvodynia. You may need to try several treatments and see which ones work best for you. And you need to have a little patience – the treatments don’t always have the desired effect right away.
The treatment usually involves doctors from several specialties – such as gynecology, urology, dermatology, neurology, pain medicine, sex therapy, physiotherapy, psychology or psychiatry. The most important therapy options at a glance:
Examples of locally acting medicines (cream, gel) for application to the skin: they relieve pain, have an anesthetic effect or relax the muscles.
Vulvodynia: Psychological support
- Sexual counseling: You will receive information about the clinical picture as well as help and support for your partnership and sexual life.
- Psychotherapy – cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In doing so, you identify unfavorable thought patterns and behaviors. Subsequently, you will learn to replace them with alternatives
Vulvodynia – what you can do yourself
There are also some ways you can start yourself and do something to help improve vulvodynia.
Vulvodynia – surgery and other therapies
These treatment options may be considered if other methods have not provided sufficient success. Only experienced physicians should perform them. Also, it should be used only with caution and for selected women. The effectiveness of some methods has not yet been sufficiently proven.
- Botulinum toxin (Botox) – a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles. We inject it into the painful region. However, you need to repeat the treatment regularly because the body breaks down the Botox and it loses its effect.
- Laser treatment (CO2 laser) – involves the use of a laser device. These treatments can also be offered at the USZ. Since laser therapies for this indication are not yet covered by health insurance, a cost approval must be obtained in advance if required.
- Shock wave therapy – high-energy pressure waves are applied
- Vestibulectomy – a surgical procedure in which we remove painful tissue more or less extensively.