Is there a "normal" amount of pain that women can experience?
The simple answer is YES. Just because you have pain doesn't automatically mean you're suffering from vulvodynia. Most women suffer from pain every once in a while - usually during intercourse. It's normal. "Someone shouldn't read this article and panic and think 'Oh My God, I have vulvodynia!" Dr. Harris says.
In some cases, pain is caused by something as easily treatable as a yeast infection. Sometimes, it's a matter of adjusting the way you stand or switching out your office chair at work. However, if you've seen a doctor about the pain, and it still isn't getting any better, it may be time to see a specialist.
When should you see a doctor?
Dr. Harris instructs readers to see a specialist if the pain isn't going away. "If they're feeling uncomfortable, they should go to their gynecologist. But, If the gyno is treating and treating and treating them, and they're not getting any better, there's a chance they have something more going on than what the gynecologist is seeing."
Since many gynecologists aren't trained in treating vulvodynia, women suffering from severe pain should see a specialist. "There are many in the country right now," Dr. Harris says, "So, if they're not getting better, they should at least approach their gynecologist about the possibility that they have something else going on. And, if the gynecologist doesn't give them enough information or tell them what to do, they could look it up."
The bottom line? "If they're not getting better, they need a specialist. Period." Dr. Harris says.
Read about diagnosing and treating vulvodynia on page 3 >>>