Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. In some cases, you'll be referred to a doctor who specializes in conditions of the female reproductive tract (gynecologist).

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment, and when they began
  • Your medical history, including other conditions for which you're being treated
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

For vulvodynia, questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What could be causing my symptoms?
  • What tests do you recommend?
  • What treatments are most likely to improve my symptoms?
  • Is this condition permanent or temporary?
  • When might I expect to get relief from my discomfort?
  • I have other medical conditions. How can I manage them together?
  • Do you have brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:

  • How severe is your pain, and how long does it last?
  • How would you describe your pain — sharp or dull, continuous or intermittent?
  • Is your pain usually triggered by a specific event, such as intercourse or exercise?
  • Do you feel pain during urination or a bowel movement?
  • Does your menstrual cycle affect your pain?
  • Does anything make your pain better or worse?
  • Have you had pelvic surgery?
  • Have you been pregnant or could you be pregnant now?
  • Have you been treated for urinary tract or vaginal infections?
July 22, 2017
References
  1. Stewart EG. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 1, 2017.
  2. Spadt SK, et al. Treatment of vulvodynia (vulvar pain of unknown cause). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 1, 2017.
  3. What is vulvodynia?. National Vulvodynia Association. https://www.nva.org/what-is-vulvodynia/. Accessed May 1, 2017.
  4. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ127. Vulvodynia. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq127.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140511T1425064797. Accessed May 1, 2017.
  5. Vulvodynia. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/vulvodynia/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed May 1, 2017.