Anyone notice how women have taken front and center state with a myriad of disorders…. oh, and TV shows with ‘bitches’ in the name…. How many ways are they going to burn us? And if we let them…what will they do to our daughters? Oh, that is right…sterilize them with Gardasil.
Huffington Post Healthy Living
March 22, 2012
Don’t let the title of this post fool you. I’m not about to trot out statistics on female sexual dysfunction, nor is this anHPV refresher course. And although the female body — particularly the region between the belly button and the knees — already has been scrutinized and pathologized to the point that only until recently was our biological sex considered a preexisting condition, the issue I’m addressing deserves far more public awareness and discussion. That’s because the answer to what’s ailing an estimated 13 million American vaginas is something many doctors are still unaware of: vulvodynia.
Vulvodynia’s hazy definition is indicative of the medical murkiness it entails. According to the National Vulvodynia Association, it’s a condition marked by “chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause.” To get an idea of what that means, imagine getting a charley horse… in the vagina. Then double or triple that discomfort, and you’re probably in the ballpark. And although sexual contact is a common symptomatic trigger, it isn’t the only one. Wearing tight pants, riding a bike or sitting down for a long time can also cause a flare-up.
Doctors suspect the discomfort stems from an overabundance of nerve growth around the vulva, but they also emphasize that it manifests differently among the one in six adult women who will experience it. Also, there are no external symptoms of vulvodynia and no known contributing factors, which is perhaps one of the reasons why women will visit up to six physicians before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Or maybe the diagnosis debacle simply stems from medical ignorance. After all, it was just in October 2006 that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encouraged its members to brush up on the hallmark symptoms and treatment options. ($$$- LB)