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What is vulvodynia?

What is vulvodynia?

The vulvodynia definition is described as follows: The chronic pain and discomfort around the vaginal opening known as the ‘vulva’ lasts for a period longer than three months.

The sensation of burning, itching, stinging, and rawness caused by vulvodynia can negatively impact the woman’s life. The irritation and pain can become excruciating over time if not treated.

What causes vulvodynia remains unclear to the health experts so far; however, there are certain contributing factors which can lead to this condition:

  • Hormonal imbalances in the body 
  • Injury to the nerves surrounding the region of the vulva 
  • Vaginal infections
  • Muscle spasm in the pelvic floor
  • Allergies or sensitive skin 

Suppose the condition remains untreated for a long time. In that case, it might cause physical, mental, and emotional discomfort, including anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, vaginismus – vaginal muscle spasms due to the fear of having sex, relationship issues, sleep disturbances, and excessive pain and irritation in the vulva region. 

What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?

Some of the commonly recorded vulvodynia symptoms observed in the vulva region include 

  • Rawness
  • Stinging 
  • Soreness 
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Painful intercourse 

The pain might be restricted to a centralized region of the vulva or spread to the entire area surrounding the vulva.

The vulva tissue will begin to appear sore and slightly inflamed as well. If one experiences any of these symptoms, you should immediately consult your gynecologist and seek medical attention. 

Vulvodynia treatment 

After a successful cotton swab test and pelvic exam, the doctor will diagnose whether or not you are suffering from vulvodynia.

The vulvodynia treatment options are always used in combination to relieve the symptoms, and no one treatment is decided as the primary course of treatment, as it differs from person to person based on the severity and symptoms.

Some of the available treatment options include 

  • Anticonvulsants, steroids, and tricyclic antidepressants are known to relieve chronic pain, while antihistamine medications lessen the itching.
  • For temporary symptom relief, lidocaine ointment, a vulvodynia treatment cream, can be used 30 minutes before the sexual intercourse to relieve the pain and discomfort. Such local anesthetics are used for vulvodynia pain relief.
  • Biofeedback therapy and pelvic floor therapy are also used as an effective treatment option which teaches how to control the pelvic muscles of your body and how one should respond to the symptoms of vulvodynia. 
  • Certain local nerve block injections are often used to treat vulvodynia, especially for those women who suffer from long-standing vulva pain. No other treatment option has turned out to be beneficial for them. 
  • If a woman suffers from localized vulvodynia or vestibulodynia, surgery is considered the treatment for vulvodynia’s complete cure. The affected tissue is removed via surgery which permanently relieves the pain. 

Natural ways to cure and avoid vulvodynia

Bladder and bowel pressure is a known reason for what causes vulvodynia to flare up. Hence, one should pee regularly and clean the vagina regularly with water gently.

Avoid exercises that put too much pressure on the vulva and prevent yourself from using deodorant pads and tampons. 

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What are Yoni eggs?

Yoni eggs

Yoni eggs, also referred to as ‘jade eggs,’ are egg-shaped gemstones meant for vaginal insertion to enhance feminine energy and encourage sexual vitality in women.

The Sanskrit word ‘yoni’ means the ‘vagina’ or the ‘womb,’ which is significant to the female reproductive system and is believed to be coming from ancient Chinese origin.

Traditionally, these eggs were made of jade and called jade yoni eggs. However, at present many different types of yoni eggs are available in the market. 

The known benefits of yoni eggs are pretty controversial as the people who recommend using these eggs believe it helps strengthen the vaginal muscles, which improve the menstrual cycle and enhance their libido and sexual power.

The spiritual belief of using yoni eggs is based on the fact that once the eggs are inserted inside the vagina, the body can harness the intrinsic energy of the gemstone it is made of. 

Additionally, some gemstones and crystals of which these gemstone yoni eggs are made – are believed to have healing powers and energetic frequencies which flow through the body and improve feminine health.

Apart from this, having a more robust pelvic floor is usually associated with intense orgasms, firmer grip during penetrative sexual intercourse, reduced risk of uterine prolapse, and leakage. 

How to use yoni eggs?

The egg-shaped gemstones are carved so for easier insertion into the vagina. One can insert the rock inside and keep it for a few minutes or an entire day.

However, health experts suggest not to use it for any more than 20 minutes as it might cause damage to the vaginal walls. Although, the sellers and practitioners offer continuous use of yoni eggs every day for better results. 

For first-timers, it is always recommended to use the smallest size of yoni egg. Additionally, such yoni eggs shall always be sterilized before and after use, and the use of oil-based and water-based lube during insertion is highly recommended. 

Are yoni eggs safe?

Even though the jade yoni egg or gemstone yoni egg is not harmful, health experts do not recommend them for vaginal insertion.

Jade yoni eggs are semi-porous, suggesting that bacteria can get inside the egg and stay there even after being cleaned thoroughly. This puts the user at high risk of vaginal or uterine bacterial infections and toxic shock syndrome. 

Moreover, prolonged use of yoni eggs hinders the vagina’s ability to self-cleanse itself, allowing the deposition of unwanted material inside the uterine tract that can cause irritation, infections, and serious reproductive health issues.

Many users also reported bowel strain and constipation as some of the potential risks of using yoni eggs in addition to muscle spasms in the pelvic floor, lower abdominal pain, pelvic muscle pain, and pain during penetrative sex. 

However, if one needs to use a yoni egg, they can do so with extra precautions. Women who are menstruating, have an active vaginal infection, suffer from IUI, or are pregnant should avoid using yoni eggs.

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Fibroids and Birth Control Pills

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the uterus and the most common pelvic tumor in women. In some cases fibroids can increase the heaviness of the menstrual flow.

While taking birth control pills can reduce the heavy flow, they will not reduce the size of the fibroids. In fact, birth control pills may cause the fibroids to grow larger. Fibroids are very responsive to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Since estrogen causes fibroids to grow, women with fibroids will need to stay away from hormonal birth control that uses large doses of estrogen.

Low-dose estrogen birth control pills and also progestin-only mini pills are safe for women with fibroids to take.

Black women are hit hardest by fibroids, diagnosed roughly three times as frequently as white women and with more severe symptoms.

Nearly a quarter of Black women between 18 and 30 have fibroids compared to about 6%  white women, according to some national estimates.

By age 35, that number increases to 60%. Black women are also two to three times more likely to have recurring fibroids or suffer from complications. If you are diagnosed with fibroids, do your own research so you can understand the terms and make the best decision for yourself.