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
- Stewart EG. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 1, 2017.
- Spadt SK, et al. Treatment of vulvodynia (vulvar pain of unknown cause). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 1, 2017.
- What is vulvodynia?. National Vulvodynia Association. https://www.nva.org/what-is-vulvodynia/. Accessed May 1, 2017.
- 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.
- 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.