What are the treatments for vulvodynia?

There are several options to treat the symptoms of vulvodynia. These may include lifestyle changes and therapy, medical treatment, and surgical treatment.

A variety of treatment options may be presented to patients, including:1

  • Topical medications, such as lidocaine ointment (a local anesthetic) or hormonal creams
  • Drug treatment, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants
  • Biofeedback therapy, intended to help decrease pain sensation
  • Physical therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Injections of steroids or anesthetics
  • Surgery to remove the affected skin and tissue in localized vulvodynia
  • Changes in diet (for example, some physicians may suggest a diet low in oxalates, which can form crystals in the body if they aren't filtered out by the kidneys)
  • Complementary or alternative therapies (including relaxation, massage, homeopathy, and acupuncture)

Types of Treatment for Vulvodynia


  1. Haefner, H. K., Collins, M. E., Davis, G. D., Edwards, L., Foster, D. C., Hartmann, E. H., et al. (2005). The vulvodynia guideline. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, 9, 40–51.
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