Vulvodynia & Vestibulitis



Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition characterised by burning, stinging, irritation, and/or rawness in the female genital area. Pain is not always present solely with sexual intercourse or vaginal penetration (unlike vaginismus) but typically also occurs during everyday activities. 



Vulva Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) 

Vulva vestibulitis is a common form of vulvodynia that has been described as one of the most common causes of genital and sexual pain in women.  

VVS is specific to pain on touch and/or pressure only in the vestibule. The vulva vestibule is the area within the inner lips surrounding the vaginal opening.  


Symptoms of VVS 

  • Severe pain in the vulva vestibule upon touch or attempted vaginal entry

  • Tenderness to pressure localised within the vulva vestibule

  • Vulva inflammation 

For diagnosis, a cotton-swab is typically used to place gentle pressure in the vestibule. If VVS is present, the cotton-swab test will often elicit severe pain or discomfort from the woman. 

Like other pain causing conditions, any form of VVS may cause or contribute to problems with vaginismus and/or may coexist with vaginismus on an ongoing basis. As a result, women may need to address both conditions before they are able to fully restore fully pain-free intercourse. 

If you suspect you may have developed VVS please contact your GP or specialist