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Paola de Vulvae nous encourage à prendre soin de notre santé vulvaire-Gapianne
santé sexuelle

Paola de Vulvae encourages us to take care of our vulvar health

Itching, irritation, burning, dryness, etc. : these discomforts invite themselves into your underwear? You are not alone! Today, an estimated 15% of women suffer from chronic vulvar pain. These unpleasant sensations can sometimes seem benign. However, they have a strong impact on daily life and intimate life. We tell you the essentials to know about vulva pain, in partnership with Vulvae.

vulvae vulvar health

Although widespread, the pains and pathologies of the vulva are unfortunately very little known. Medical research is scarce and patients often come up against discouraging medical wandering (7 years on average before obtaining a diagnosis!). Pain in the vulva that lasts, and which is difficult to treat, because few doctors really know how to prescribe the right treatments and do effective follow-up.

Spoiler: if a doctor tells you “it's in your head”, it's wrong!

But, to begin with: what is the vulva?

This is the external part of the so-called “female” genitalia. It is made up, among other things, of the mons of Venus, the labia majora and minora, the urinary meatus, the clitoris and the entrance to the vagina. Sometimes this area is painful, itchy, burning, tingling, twitching violently, or throbbing very sharply. No matter how uncomfortable you feel, it's never normal and there are explanations — and solutions.

diagram of a detailed vulva

What types of vulvar pathologies can cause my pain?

Behind vulvar pain hide different pathologies:

• Vulvodynia: this name designates a painful syndrome of the vulva, which lasts for more than 3 months (continuously or intermittently), without any lesion at the level of the vulva. This pathology is due to a dysfunction of the pain system. Its variant, which affects precisely just the entrance to the vagina, is called vestibulodynia — and it is the most common form of vulvodynia (with a prevalence of 8-10%).

• Vaginismus: this refers to an involuntary and unconscious contraction of the perineum / the muscles that surround the vagina, which makes it difficult or impossible for penetration (by a finger, a tampon, a penis or a sex toy). The pain generally comes from the attempt of penetration, and not from the contraction itself. They are therefore frequent at the time of sexual intercourse.

• Bartholinitis: this is an inflammation of the Bartholin glands, which allow the lubrication of the vulva. Often, a small ball forms at the level of the inner lips, very painful and red. It is also important to know that bartholinitis often recurs (15-20% of cases).

• Vulvar lichen sclerosus: this dermatological pathology is characterized by the appearance of pearly white patches, by changes in the tissues of the vulva, and often by very strong itching, which comes in a burst. It can also be asymptomatic, so it is important to observe yourself regularly to spot any changes.

• Pudendal neuralgia: a nerve pathology, which causes pain due to compression of the pudendal nerve, a nerve that passes through the entire area of ​​the perineum (buttocks, anus, vulva, clitoris, etc.). The pain can therefore extend beyond the vulva.

• Vaginal dryness: affecting 1 in 6 people with a vulva before menopause, and 1 in 2 after menopause, dryness is often linked to a hormonal change and/or disturbance.

• Painful urethral syndrome: this is a painful syndrome in the urethra, which is expressed when we pee, but not only. It is often accompanied by a frequent, and sometimes urgent, urge to urinate.

There are also simpler and slightly better known causes: latex allergy (3% of the population), mycosis and cystitis (75% people with vulva will have at least one in their life), herpes, vaginitis and vaginosis ( particularly frequent during pregnancy), etc.

Faced with these pathologies, Vulvae allows you to regain control over the health of your vulva and to act directly on your pain, to better understand them and find more comfort. With the application, Vulvae makes it possible to track symptoms and factors that influence pain. Because, the more you know your body, the better you can feel, by acting as closely as possible to your needs!

And, with its 3-month therapeutic support program, Manage your pain , Vulvae allows patients to learn the care routine and habits they need to know to better manage their pain and reconnect with their pleasure. Thanks to physical exercises, relaxation and information content, Vulvae offers people to regain control of their care journey.

And, if you want to know more, the little illustrated guide to vulvar pathologies is available for free download on the Vulvae website, to guide you towards the care that will be best suited. Power comes through knowledge, Vulvae is therefore mobilized to give you the information and advice necessary for your care.

Paola, founder of Vulvae

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