Ongoing pain around the opening of the vagina, also known as the vulva, for which the cause isn't known.


The pain or burning of vulvodynia lasts at least three months. The pain can be so intense that people with the condition can't sit for long periods. They can't even think about having sex.


Symptoms include burning, stinging and throbbing in the genital area. The area might itch. Intercourse can be painful. Pain might be constant or come and go and can last for months or even years. The pain can go away as fast as it started.


Treatment aims at relieving symptoms. Home care includes putting a cold cloth or gel pack on the area or sitting in warm or cool water, known as a sitz bath, two or three times a day. Treatment might include medicines taken by mouth or put on the skin, biofeedback therapy, or exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.