Sex is so natural and freeing. Such a healthy expression of love, sensuality, and desire. If you’re one of the millions of women living with pain during sex, for you, it’s anything but. It’s painful, it’s scary, and it’s a chore. Don’t give up yet. There is hope for curing vulvodynia, and yes, it is a real and treatable chronic pain condition.
What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a medical term used to describe chronic vaginal pain with no discernable medical cause. It’s one of the most irritating conditions to be diagnosed with because it tells you nothing other than the obvious: Sex hurts.
What is Vulvar Vestibulitis?
Vulvar vestibulitis is a type of vulvodynia where the pain during sex is concentrated at the entrance to the vagina. Symptoms of vulvar vestibulitis include redness and swelling at the vaginal entrance, thickening of the vulvar skin, itching, and pain during tampon insertion, sexual intercourse, bicycling, and, in severe cases, even sitting.
Causes of Pain During Sex
Pain during sex is part physical and part psychological. When the vaginal pain starts, it may seem like just a bad night. You and your partner try to have sex the way you usually do (or maybe you try something new) and it hurts. It’s uncomfortable. You stop and go to sleep, feeling unsatisfied and confused.
The pain you’re feeling is very real. Vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis are usually caused by an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in the vagina. Chronic yeast infection and chronic bacterial vaginosis is caused by low gut bacteria.
Poor diet, overuse of NSAID pain relievers, birth control pills, antibiotics, stress, and trauma all contribute to an imbalance of healthy intestinal flora.
Without this balance, disease and chronic pain result. Sometimes it develops into an autoimmune disease such as chronic fatigue syndrome or Crohn’s disease. For some, vulvodynia develops.
When sex is painful once or several times, sex is no longer a spontaneous, pleasurable experience. It is something to be feared. You don’t mean to be afraid. You love the person you’re with and want to enjoy all the sexual perks your relationship has to offer but your brain has suddenly been wired to be afraid.
Even if the pain caused by your vulvodynia isn’t that bad on a particular night, you’ll still hesitate and feel anxiety when the business of sex is brought up. This anxiety hangs like a cloud over your relationship and slowly dissolves it from the inside out.
Cure Vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis Naturally
When you experience pain during sex, you want a cure and you want it now. Understandable. I’ve been exactly where you are. It was only through trial and error that I found how to treat my vulvar vestibulitis naturally. In my case, my vulvar vestibulitis occurred as a result of undiagnosed gluten intolerance, autoimmune dysfunction, low gut bacteria, and stress.
Here’s what I did to treat it:
- Coconut Oil
I’m currently in the middle of a long love affair with coconut oil. I first stumbled up on this vulvodynia cure almost a year ago and decided to try it for myself. Coconut oil is very rich in caprylic acid, which has powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties. Eat one-two tablespoons of raw organic coconut oil each day. (It should smell like coconut or it’s processed.
- Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is an extremely potent natural antibiotic. I use it myself whenever I feel a cold coming on. I also discovered something kind of awesome. I was extremely sick a few months ago and started drinking ten drops of oregano oil in a four-ounce glass of water three times per day.
Not only did it help knock out my cold, it also seemed to do wonders for my “down there” problems. Note: Drinking oregano oil is great for your health but it can also burn your lips and your stomach. When you drink it, always use a straw and don’t drink it on an empty stomach. If the pure oil is too much for you, you can also take it in capsule form.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Love this stuff. Raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar is a great vulvodynia treatment because it is loaded with good bacteria that helps knock out vaginal infections. Drink one to two teaspoons each day on an empty stomach for best results. You can also used raw ACV as a natural bacterial vaginosis treatment. Douche with a mixture of ACV and warm water or bath in a cup of apple cider vinegar and warm water for twenty minutes.
- Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto is an herbal supplement most commonly associated with treating prostate disease in men but research has shown it can also help treat women with chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Saw palmetto works by relieving external inflammation. Personally, I use this treatment quite sparingly. I only take it once or twice a month after my cycle and it seems to work.
Probiotics are essential to good health and a must if you’re going to cure your vulvodynia. Just be absolutely sure you choose the right probiotic. Lately, probiotics have become popular and it really worried me so I did some research on them and found out that the more commercialized the supplement, the worse it is for you. For best results, go to a health food store and buy a good-quality probiotic with no synthetic preservatives.
- Chelated Magnesium
Magnesium deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in the world. According to clinical research, chelated magnesium can help treat any chronic pain condition naturally. I’ve been taking it for years and it helps treat pain, anxiety, constipation, and insomnia.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Using peroxide for vulvar vestibulitis and similar ailments is quite controversial but I have done it myself and haven’t noticed any unpleasant side effects. As a matter of fact, it’s worked like a charm! Each month, after my cycle, I pour ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide into four ounces of warm water and use it as a douche. Peroxide kills the bacteria in your vagina, which helps heal treat the source of your chronic pain.
- Neem Oil
Neem oil is a 100% natural topical antifungal that can be used in and around your delicate vaginal tissues to relieve pain and discomfort. Not only does it moisten dry, irritated tissue, it helps treat the cause of vulvodynia by killing bacteria. It can be used alone to treat pain or as a functional sexual lubricant!
- Vaginal Dilators
Vaginal dilators are designed for women with vulvodynia and vaginismus to help stretch and tone vaginal muscles. Using vaginal dilators also helps desensitize you from that feeling of anxiety about sexual intercourse.
You start out with the smallest dilator and work your way up weekly as your comfort level increases. If you don’t want to go out and buy a pack of vaginal dilators, you can also buy a series of plastic or silicone dildos for the same use. Never use latex products as they can cause allergic reaction and worsen pain and discomfort.
- Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor exercises are ideal for vulvar vestibulitis sufferers. I never though these would work so well until I started trying them myself. I thought the only purpose for them was to tighten loose muscles but it actually tones them as well, which makes for increased comfort during sex, not to mention better orgasms.
To do a Kegel exercise properly, sit comfortably in a chair and pull your pelvic floor muscles inward toward your naval as though stopping the flow of urine. Hold for a count of ten then release. Repeat three times. Do these exercises at least three times per day.
Painful sex (dyspareunia) is much more common than you think. It is estimated that 1 in every 4 women experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. You’re definitely not alone. Try these natural treatments for vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis and see if they work for you.
One final note: Pay very close attention to your diet. If you eat a lot of processed food filled with preservatives and additives, your chronic pain condition will worsen. Eat plenty of whole, nourishing foods so your body gets a chance to do what it does best; heal itself.
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