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Vulvodynia Remedies

Last Modified on Nov 09, 2015

Holistic treatment for Vulvodynia can be the most effective way to deal with the pain that disrupts a woman’s life and causes great emotional distress. Using baking soda as a home cure to lessen vaginal acidity is often helpful. The healing properties of coconut oil, a well-regarded alternative remedy, give internal relief to many sufferers. Stretching the pelvic and vaginal muscles is a home remedy that seems to be critical for keeping the problem under control, ending or greatly diminishing the pain and stopping new occurrences.

What is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis refer to chronic pain around the opening of the vagina (vulva) for which a cause cannot be found. The pain can continue steadily or intermittently for years.  A very acid vaginal pH has been identified with some cases of vulvodynia.  Vulvodynia is not a yeast or bacterial infection and those treatments will not work. The pain and burning makes many daily activities uncomfortable or impossible, including intercourse.  Determining if there is a ‘trigger’ for chronic, recurring outbreaks can be helpful; antibiotics are one known trigger.  A feeling of too-tight, shortened pelvic and vaginal muscles can be relieved with stretching exercises.

Natural Remedies for Vulvodynia

Baking soda is a home remedy that is the first component of a treatment regimen for vulvodynia, with a goal of attaining an optimum vaginal pH; baking soda decreases the acidity of the vagina.  Coconut oil, a natural cure, is the second part of the treatment regimen, utilizing the healing properties of the coconut.  The third element addresses the shortened pelvic muscles and the area around the vagina, using stretching exercises and perineum massage. Cranberry capsules were also helpful. Many women found it essential to avoid wearing tight jeans and thongs; wearing only cotton panties is advisable.

Baking Soda

Baking soda douche is a tried-and-true home cure for vulvodynia. The baking soda is a natural remedy that helps restore the vagina pH to an optimal 4-4.5.  Vaginal pH tests showed that some women with vulvodynia had a vaginal pH of 3-3.5, which is extremely acid, causing severe itching and burning.  Another baking soda natural cure is drinking a mixture of baking soda, organic apple cider vinegar and water to neutralize pH and reduce adidosis.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an alternative cure that stopped pain in two weeks. The coconut oil was both eaten and inserted into the vagina. Coconut kefir (fermented coconut water) was also used successfully. Coconut is a traditional medicine and known as a ‘functional food’ because of its value both as a food and for healing. Used as an alternative medicine for centuries by people around the world, its healing properties are far greater than those of any other oil. Coconut oil is also useful as a lubricant to help relieve painful intercourse.

Perineum Massage and Pelvic Floor Stretching Exercises

This safe, effective home cure for vulvodynia stretches and lengthens the too-tight pelvic and vaginal muscles, relieving the pain. Be sure to do the stretching and not the tightening exercises. Many women have been helped by information found in the book Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein. Perineum massage has also been a recommended, worthwhile home treatment.

Vulvodynia is a name given to severe pain in the vaginal area. Natural treatments have eliminated the pain that disrupts normal activities and personal relationships.  Stretching exercises are a home cure that quickly provided pain relief.

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Amino Acid Nac, Vitamin C, Spirulina
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Posted by Anna (Seattle, Washington U.s.a) on 12/25/2012

[YEA]  After suffering for 20 years from vulvodynia and going to so many doctors and spending tons of money on both conventional and alternative treatments and going insane from finding absoluely NOTHING to take away the burning pain and rawness until I accidentally found that taking something that another alternative M. D recommended for something totally different (amino acid NAC 600mg. , Vit. C 2,000mg and 3 tablets of spirulina) once a day or even every two days, takes away the pain within hours. So happy about it and want to spread the word to others. Been doing this now for two years and would also suggest that when taking NAC also take a good multi mineral with a meal as NAC is a good chelator of heavy metals like mercury but can also deplete the good minerals like zinc and copper. Hope this helps others as I know this type of pain is so horrible.

Replied by Epretty
Charlotte, Nc

Hi, I have a subset of vulvodynia and I am desperate to be healed. I was wondering if the pain and burning you experienced was constant and interferred with your daily activities? Or did you only have pain with sex? Thanks!
Replied by Anna
Seattle, Wa

Epretty my vulvodynia started with just pain during sex but then later changed to constant unprovoked pain. After trying many things over many years, the one thing that suddenly stopped the constant pain was this combo.
Replied by Sandra
Houston, Tx

So you just take all three at once. Do you take it before or meal or with a meal or just when you have pain?
Replied by Bluesky
Orlando, Florida

[YEA]   I tried the Amino Acid Nac, Vitamin C and Spirulina and it worked for me. I had gone to my GYN and she had told me that I was deficient in Vitamin C. When I saw this post, I guessed it had something to do with this so I tried it. Thank you so much for sharing. It has changed my life. I was getting it almost every single week or every other week. So painful! Now, if I forget to take the vitamins everyday, as soon as I feel itching, I now its coming. A couple of hours of taking the vitamins, the itching subsides. As long as I take them everyday, I have not had an episode. Thanks a million.

For all those suffering from this painful condition, try this combination. If it doesn't work, you might have a vitamin deficiency. Ask your doctor to perform blood work to see where you are deficient and try taking those vitamins.

Replied by Anna
Seattle, Washington, Usa

SandrafromHouston, I take it on an empty stomach and besides the vulvodynia I think it also generally makes me feel better.

Bluesky, I think it's really wonderful to hear it worked for you I know two other's on the other forum I used to post on, said it worked for them also. I think many don't try it because they think its a weird combo. I dont' think it's a total cure but I think at least it seems to stop the itching and then burning and like you said if your starting to feel bad it seems to work pretty quickly. That's interesting what your doctor told you about vitamin C I will look into that. Like I said I was given it for getting rid of heavy metals so remember to take a good multi mineral while you're on it. Again, I think it's so wonderful to hear that it helps as I know this condition is hell, take care, Anna

Replied by Diana
Hartford, Ct

Hi all! I'm so glad I found this information and earlier today I ran to the vitamin shop to get these supplements! I just have a few questions... 2,000 mg of Vitamin C is alot and I hear that it is borderline unsafe to take that much at once (don't know how true that is), so will it work if I take less or does it have to be 2,000mg? Also have any of you noticed side effects from the supplements? I am already taking amitriptyline for vulvodynia. Strangely I have never experienced pain related to vulvodynia, just VERY ANNOYING constant itching. Thank you all in advance for sharing :)
Replied by Nanowriter
Hot Spot, Tx

Diana, vit C is considered to be quite safe. It is water soluable and the most likely "side effect" you will get from taking too much at once is diarrhea. It is also not good to leave it on your teeth if you are using the powdered vit C because of enamel damage. I take over 2000 mg a day without any problems. Splitting the dose and taking it at intervals throughout the day is supposed to be better than all at once.
Replied by Diana
Hartford, Ct

Thank you so much! I think I will try 2 100mgs once at breakfast and once at dinner. I really appreciate all the support from everyone and I will update on how the combo works for me :)
Replied by Sfnative
San Francisco, California

Hi All, I've suffered with Interstitial Cystitis for 20 years, and now the past few years with Vuvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis. The burning and rawness is horrible. Doctors have tried everything for a few years now. I have done EVERYTHING!!!!!! IC has been controlled with Botox injections to the Pelvic Floor Muscles, so that is tolerable. But I am on a constant no acid diet, no oxalates, so I'm wondering about the high Vitamin C content in your pills up above. I never, ever eat anything with Vitamin C and haven't for years as it aggravates my bladder and IC. Does anyone have that problem???
Replied by Anna
Seattle, Washington, Usa

SFnative you can always just give the combo a try and see how it goes. If you have a lot of increased bladder pain then certainly stop. I know that last year I had a bladder infection and even after it was gone I still had an uncomfortable irritation that felt like it was still there and so took another round of antibiotics but the pain stayed so then I decided to start up the combo and it took it away. I know sometimes the vulvodynia can cause irritation around the urethra and make you "feel" like you have to constanly pee but it's just irritation so not sure if mine was really an IC type situation. You could also try buffered vitamin C as that is less acidic on the system. I know that some berries make my vulvodynia worse but the combo has never bothered me.
Replied by Hellen

Anna from Seattle, Washington, Usa... hello, can you please tell me if you took this combo of NAC 600mg, vitamin C 2000 mg and 3 capsules of Spirulin all at once or did you take it fractioned during the day (like 600 mg vitamin C in the morning and 1 capsule of spirulin and the same at lunch and in the evening, NAC is only 600 mg capsule so that can't be fractioned..) Thanks!
Replied by Anna
Washington, Usa

Hi, Hellen from Romania. I take the combo all at once. The NAC 600mgs with vitamin C 2,000mgs and three sprulina tablets all together and on an empty stomach. I also take a multi mineral at a different time of the day as the NAC is good at getting rid of heavy metals like mercury and lead but it can also take zinc and copper out of the body over time... So you need to replace that. Take care, hope this helps, Anna from Seattle.
Replied by Leigh

Hi, I found this yesterday and rushed out to buy NAC, Vit C, and Spirulina. Can't tell a difference yet (taken it twice). Can anyone comment on how long it took to work for them? I have had provoked (only when touched) burning/searing pain for years. Thanks!
Replied by Leigh

[NAY]   I have been taking this combo almost everyday for two weeks and have not had any improvement. I know this blog (thanks to Anna for all the information) says this should help within hours, but I wondered if it could take longer the first time. It's starting to feel like the same old exercise in futility. I'm glad this combo is working for some of us with this problem, anyway. I'm considering the amitriptyline/nortriptyline route, which I've been avoiding for years.
Replied by Olivia

Thank you for finding my first breakthrough - just the the NAC I am getting virtually no symptoms - then when it got a little borderline I added the vit c and spirulina and it is great. Thank you...
Replied by Alex

Re: Amino Acid Nac, Vitamin C, Spirulina for Vulvodynia: Absolutely YES! Use it myself. love it. rich with variety of goodies to your body, that why spirulina benefits are shown few weeks after use
Replied by Nat
California, US

Alex, how long did it take to start feeling better? I am suffering! The pain is unbearable:( Thank you all for the info!
Replied by Mika
Sydney, Australia


I have read a post from another girl who had the exact same recipe and said it worked for her.

Just wondering for those who had this and it worked, how did your vulvar vestibulitis/vulvodynia started?

At the current stage my diagnosis is "vaginitis" with underlying tissues still inflamed so trying to let it heal naturally first (as advised by my gynae), but I really suspect it's a sensitisation of the underlying nerves from a possible allergic reaction to the many medicines (some redundant) for my thrush 2 months ago.

I really wish I can find something natural that can speed up the healing process, which I hope will really occur because what is worrying me is that my condition has not improved much since I started feel the pain (means natural healing not happening?).

Replied by Gabrielle
London, UK

I had terrible sensitivity for about six months, redness and rash. Two things worked: Check that your washing powder is non biological. Also use coldish water hand spray and it literally gets rid of the sting and redness.
Replied by Swati

@Mika: I have a very similar problem like yours. Had UTI almost 3 months ago. Was given antibiotics which led to Thrush. Had tried all types of medication to threat it like pessaries, oral tablets, garlic, vinegar, yogurt etc etc. Its almost 3 months now, my swab tests are negative but I still have a stinging sensation on vulva skin. Doctor says possibly due to the n amount of things I applied to treat the thrush...but I just want to get rid of this and get back to normal life..!!!

Did you find any natural remedy to heal things up..?please do share if things are looking better at your end.

Replied by Mika
Sydney, Australia


I totally understand how you feel! I was reading through other forums and got some advices from ladies who have similar symptoms.

I have tried to take supplements, coconut oil, lidocaine/lignocaine ointment, and avoided things that could aggravate such as washing with soap etc. For a moment my pain got so much better that I didn't feel much pain and I was so happy. But within 2 days of that relief I started having constipation. I had to stop all the supplements because I was scared that my system is overloaded and that might have contributed to my constipation. Now I can feel that the pain is coming back, which is depressing but I still don't dare to start the supplements cause my constipation problem hasn't resolved yet :( Only taking calcium citrate at the moment.

It's annoying how a single thrush (&its treatments) can lead to all these discomfort and suffering :(

What are you doing currently to manage your symptoms? Is your pain provoked/unprovoked & which area is affected?

I have provoked pain mainly on the deep foldings connecting vestibule and labia minora. It's super sore and stings when I touch/rub.

Replied by Susan Polar
Toronto On

Should the combo of NAC, spirulina and vitamin C be taken on an empty stomach?
Replied by L

Don't think I have this vulvodynia thing...however...

A few days ago I learned of the term cytolytic vaginosis after months of OBSESSIVE GOOGLING to find SOMETHING that makes sense.... and it was the first thing that made sense

I have never been one to have yeast issues, maybe a handful of times in my life. A little Monastat use and gone..until this...

My symptoms started when I had a very bad bout of diarrhea in January and I haven't been the same since. The baking soda douche I learned of a couple of days back provided relief, but I just had a skin biopsy in that area to see if it is dermatis related, so I am a little leery of using it again...until those STITCHES are out. Not sure if using the baking soda would set me off with those stitches down there. I douched with that the night before a dermatologist appointment for the first time.... so I figured if THAT baking soda flared me up, I already had the appointment with the dermatologist (4th doctor I've seen for this crap) and it would be taken care of.

Anyway, I took all those typical RX drugs, anti yeast things, anti fungal things, cortisone creams, gels, etc..etc.. both RX and OTC. I even bathed in vinegar and tried jock itch cream to no avail before finding out about the baking soda douche.

Monastat 1 was the first thing I used when this started up and I might as well have used BATTERY ACID as I never had such a reaction to any Monastat product before. Of course, when this did not to the series of doctors....SINCE JANUARY. My primary care one (2 times), a gyno he referred me to (2 times). He looked at the possibility of LC (don't care to spell the word) and it was not that, thank Almighty God.

The urgent care doc treated me for scabies after looking at me for about 60 seconds and learned I was a health care worker.

I simply could not stand the itch so I went there. Of course, I was berated by my doctor for going there. I think I was more upset with that than the incorrect diagnoses of tell you the truth.

I've had so much medicine, creams, ointments...ridiculous

Buttock and upper leg itch has been an issue, too. Never had that before this....ever.

No doc will listen to me concerning the diarrhea bout that I AM TOTALLY CONVINCED that kicked this off. I am pretty convinced it is lactobacillus out of control introduced by that horrid acidic diarrhea in January that probably got all over my private areas. Sorry if TMI, but maybe this can be of help to somebody else.

However getting some of these left brained "by the book" doctors to think outside the box...WHEN NOTHING HAS WORKED SO FAR has been frustrating. Frustrating isn't the word. Maddening is more like it. If someone offers me an antidepressant as a band-aid for this, I will walk right out. I have heard women being presented with that, too and that's just over the top and negligent and shows nothing but a doctor who doesn't want to deal with your problem in line with the Hippocratic Oath.

Hoping the dermatologist will find some skin irritation, treat it, and I can dump this nightmare out of my memory banks forever.

FWIW, I am post menopausal, got through that without so much as a hot flash and NEVER had any thing chronic concerning genital/groin issues until I had that horrific diarrhea in January.

I feel for those of you that have suffered for years until you found an answer. For me, it has been only 7 long months of this awful stuff and questioning my own sanity. However, I will never allow an MD to give me an antidepressant to get me off his/her back. I have heard of women being presented with that and no doc had better even go close to that to cover up for a lack of knowledge on these things.

Hoping the next post will be, I am free of this **** for good. Came out of the blue...can leave out of the blue and the sooner the better.

Baking Soda Douche
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Posted by Laura (Houston) on 07/23/2015

[YEA]  I second the baking soda douche treatment, I suffered for two years with cyclical burning, pain, irritation, and pain with sex. The symptoms were always worse during the couple weeks before my period. I was treated for yeast and bv multiple times but nothing brought relief. I also had a skin biopsy done which only revealed inflammation. I also began taking a lot of probiotics during this time and my symptoms got worse and worse. I eventually moved to Houston for work and found a specialist here who immediately diagnosed me with cytolitic vaginosis. Now, as long as I do the baking soda douches regularly, I am good to go!

After two years of suffering, this has been such a huge relief. I do have some residual pain with sex, probably from a learned 'guarding' response of the pelvic floor muscles, and I am getting physical therapy for that and I apply lidocaine jelly before sex. Things continue to improve.

Posted by Khristine (Berlin, Nh, Usa) on 12/29/2012

[YEA]  My Friends in Womanhood, I would like to broach a subject that is affecting our lives and our medical professionals are missing the boat! I work as a medical professional and have had an experience over the last 6 months that I would likely compare to burning in "hell" with alternating itching/raw feeling. It all began in July when I began to feel a bit like I might have a yeast infection brewing. Within a weeks time or so after this feeling I began noticing that it burned when I urinated. Burning after I urinated as well. My vulvar area became inflammed reddened/raw in no time. However, what I was feeling was burning, unable to appreciate for obvious anatomical reason that I was in fact raw. I called my physician whom was unable to see me of course! Frustrated I spoke to a coworker whom indicated that quite possibly I could be having the start of a UTI. I rarely if ever have had a UTI and quite honestly I feel that unless they can prove you have one via a urine sample do not, I repeat do not, agree to take an Antibiotic. It will do more harm than good. I promise. After a course of Bactrum( a common UTI Med) I began to feel better within roughly 3 days. I thought... Wonderful.

However, little was I to know that I was only beginning a hell ride that would continue for months and ultimately end with me researching and finding my own resolve for this matter. Not the Physicians, 6 of whom I would end up seeing for this. Following the course of Bactrum I went back to my normal routines. I had intercourse with my husband one evening and when I woke up to urinate in the middle of the night I had burning and stinging unlike ever before. I thought to myself I must be dreaming. I was better. I had such intense burning I had difficulty falling back to sleep. I called the clinic the next day, still unable to see a physician. So I spoke to the nurse of a Doc I work with and she called and said that they would prescribe a course of Cipro for my stubborn UTI, however, I was to provide a urine sample to the lab. Lab was neg. I began the Cipro and within 2 days experienced severe itching and was given Diflucan to treat. The itching resolved, however, this awful burning feeling that I had, had not. Frustrated again I made an appointment to see a Nurse Practioner. She examined me and tested for everything under the sun. Yeast, Bacteria, STDs, etc. With no hard proof of anything to me she would give me a course of Doxycyclin. Desperate for healing I went ahead and took the script. My burning intensified to the point where I could cry. Ice was not enough to cool. I felt as if heat were eminating for my vaginal area that could burn a hole in a glacier. Later I was given Metrogel vaginal gel for what was thought to be a case of BV. Clue cells were identified in a wet prep so they said, however, the vaginal gel added insult to injury. No odor/ no unsual discharge noted. I tried every natural substance I could find to calm my horrified bottom. Raw Honey, olive oil, cornstarch and baking soda powder, vit E oil, Petroleum Jelly, KY Jelly, Desitin, Vit A oil, plain yohurt(which cooled me)... I tried it all. Also tried, Clotrimozole/betamethasone ointment, clebasol, hydrocortisone, allergy ointment, Nystatin, Monistat yeast Med... To no avail. In fact it made me worse.

Months later and still battling I see my GYN for the 3rd time. She says "I'm sorry dear you have Vulvodynia. " In my research I had seen this term & had thought that this is the Fibromyalgia of the vaginal world. A term used to label unsolved mysteries. Angered.. I did more homework. Antibiotics upset vaginal Flora & PH. Antifungals also change vaginal PH, making the area acidic. Birth Control can also influence PH. Vulvodynia symptoms clearly parallel the symptoms of Cytolytic Vaginosis. A very CURABLE problem. Practioners forget to look at the very tool that got them into medicine... CHEMISTRY. When you make an environment normally slightly acidic extremely acidic two things occur, irritation of skin, and burn like symptoms(ACID).

The Vagina is a delicately balanced Microcosum of bacteria/yeast/lactobaccilli/ and numerous others microbes. When antibiotics are presented, they wipe out an already unbalanced(in my case) world. Antifungals to prevent/correct the yeast symptoms also make the vagina very acidic still. Ultimately you have a petrie dish of disorder in a very big way. I suggest all of you think about your starting symptoms and look closely at what may have precipitated them. Antibiotics for no matter what will start the ball rolling. Cytolytic Vaginosis is basically a Chemistry lesson that our providers are just overlooking.. And for what reason I am not certain. It is extremely basic. And the cure is Baking Soda douche. 1-2tablespoons/4 cups of warm water. , bathing in a Sitz of Baking soda water is also very helpful for the external symptoms of itch and burning until symtoms resolve.. And they will.

Please all of you look up CYTOLYTIC VAGINOSIS. The symptoms, of burning, and itching, rawness do not just occur by themselves. They have been precipitated by something. They can be balanced and harmony can once again occur. Demand that your practioner do a vaginal PH. CYTOLYTIC VAGINOSIS will be in the 3.5-4.5 range. Certain Cytologic indications will also be evident on the wet prep slide. Lactobacillis will be plentiful. I encourage you to fully trust your instincts, your body is an amazing creation and the answers lie in sometimes the most basic fundamentals. Good Luck to you. I wanted to share my experience to help others prevent the nightmare the Medical Professionals whom we all go to in times of need, can create.

God Bless, Khristine

Replied by Shannon
Brownsburg, Indiana, United States

I was recently diagnosed with Vulvodynia. My question regarding the baking soda douche is: how often should this be done? Thank you.
Replied by Sandra
Los Angeles, Ca

Khristine, Thank you SO MUCH for your posting. I have been going crazy trying to figure out what was going on down there. Even with all the research I've done into BV, Vulvovaginal Candidiasis and pelvic floor muscle tightness, I had never heard of Cytolitic Vaginosis. I know this is what I have because after reading a medical article titled "Cytolitic Vaginosis and Lactobacillosis" on a site for nurse-practitioners-and-physician-assistants, I identify with the fact that the symptoms go away during menstruation and that the skin around the opening of my vagina is irritated by the acidified discharge.

I don't know if the baking soda douches will help, but I will try them, and I will stop taking probiotics until the issue is resolved. I read on another health board that a woman used a pH balanced lubricant every night and treated her CV. You can find it by searching for the postings by mamacitas on a thread titled "Yeast, Lactobacillosis or Cytolytic Vaginosis???"

Anyway, good luck to everyone in their search for an answer. Sometimes I think some of us know more than our doctors - let's keep sharing what we know!

Replied by Sandra
Los Angeles, Ca

Shannon, I found this information on a pdf online about using baking soda douches for treating CV:

Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with 4 cups of warm water. A douche bag, which can be purchased at most pharmacies, is then used to infiltrate the vagina with the solution. Or, you can purchase baking soda douches over the counter at most pharmacies. Douche twice weekly for two weeks.

Alternatively, if douching would be difficult, fill empty gelatin capsules with baking soda and insert one capsule intravaginally, twice weekly for two weeks.

Replied by Shelly
Illinois, US

Thank you so much for your post I was just thinking of trying a baking soda paste on myself. I'm in so much pain, the burning is horrific, at this point I will try anything. I've had Interstitial cystitis since the 6th grade, only for doctors to just diagnose me with this four years ago at age 41. I have been miserable my whole life. I do hope more people become aware of those terrible diseases and more grants and donations are given to find a cure
Replied by Lauraelise
Fairfield, California


I hope you get this notification. I also have IC I am 32 and have been dealing with it since almost 13. It is a horrible disease. I am having horrible burning for a couple weeks now which brought me to this page. Researching help. I am so tried of the pain. The bladder pain is bad at times but it is my vulva urethral burning that is so horrible. Gives me chills and makes me want to crawl into a hole. I will be giving the backing soda douche a try. Let me know how it goes for you.


Replied by Katie

Hi, thanks for your post. It's very reassuring. I have been suffering with the same blasted thing for 9 months. Recently started the baking soda. How long did you do it for before you managed to clear the CV?
Replied by Patti Q
Portland, OR

Thank you for this information. After going through pretty much what you went though I Figured out that I had cv, did the baking soda thing. Had immediate relief.I'm pretty sure mine was triggered by taking probiotics. No more for me! Thanks again, PattiQ
Replied by Karen758
Erie, Pa.

I am so glad I found this site...don't ask me how I did, but I did. I found out I AM NOT ALONE. I have suffered for 30+ yrs...the first 5-6 was mostly constant burning. The last three years I have developed anal burning.

So at age 68 I am on amitripline for nerve ending of vulva. Not helping much.

Just started another episode about a month ago. Went to a new gyn and see has me scheduled with a specialist in Pittsburgh, Pa.

In the meantime, I am going to try the baking soda douche. SOMETHING HAS TO HELP. Along w/the burning, I also have pelvic floor muscle that is wound VERY tight. so should be interesting to see what comes of my appointment which is not until JUNE.

We women are one tough breed!!! Thank you for this page and will keep you posted. KAREN

Replied by Myra
Syracuse, Ny

Hello, my name is Myra and I really appreciate your article about using a baking soda douche. I've done it quite a few times and was amazed at how good I felt afterwards. My question to you is how often should I douche? I would do it everyday if I was sure I wouldn't be causing myself more harm. Thank you in advance.
Replied by Terri
Sarver, Pa

I am looking for a specialist for painful sex not sure which of the conditions I have maybe a combo of a few but was wondering what specialist you where refer. to and how it worked for you.

Baking Soda, Perineal Massage
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Posted by Palmtrees (Midwest, Usa) on 03/12/2013

[YEA]  I was diagnosed with cytolytic vaginosis after 5 months of burning terrible pain. I began by doing a month of baking soda sitz baths, but after a month with what my doctor saw as normal flora, the cytolytic vaginosis came back. I then began using gelatin capsules from a health food store, filled then with baking soda, and inserted them twice a week. After two months I went back to the doctor and was told again my flora was normal, but to use the capsules and baking soda once a week for maintnance. I ended up at the dermatologist a month later because I still felt burning pain from time to time. The dermatologist told me my skin and vulva looked fine, but told me I either have a estrogen deficiency problem from birth control pills, or vulvodynia.

Well, its been 2 weeks since I've been off the pill and I already notice a decrease in the burning feeling on my tissues, but noticed my vaginal muscles just feel tight. The doctor told me sometimes vulvodynia occurs because of the body having pain for so long, I subliminally tightened my vaginal muscles in anticipation of every day pain. I have been finding this to be true, and have been doing the perenium massage I've read about, inserting a finger vaginally and pressing down on the pelvic floor muscles, it hurt at first, but got better with time, and its only been 4 days. I also plan to visit the physical therapist to see if there are more stretches I can do to loosen my muscles.

I hope this post helps anyone out there suffering from vulvar or vaginal pain that may have similiar problems. I was feeling quite hopeless being in daily pain for 10 months, but am hoping its finally passing. Keep trying new things, try doctors, accupuncture is wonderful, don't give up, it WILL get better.

Borax Douche
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Posted by Stacey (Abbotsford, Bc, Canada) on 09/17/2012

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I had begun having severe pain in my clitoris lately which was making me feel horrifically depressed and irritated beyond belief. I did some internet research and figured that I might have some form of Vulvodynia. I've had long standing health issues with my body, but this is just aggravating to deal with. I've been drinking apple cider vinegar as I have systemic candida, which might be causing the clitoral pain. But I did a borax douche in the shower this morning and it was incredibly soothing. I had done a vinegar douche a few days ago and it aggravated everything; ugh, just a mistake. I think the borax helps so much because the pH is so high that it kills whatever is in the area causing pain. It also helped soothe my bladder which has also felt mildly irrirated for the last week or so also. Nothing is itchy, just mostly pain.

So I'll see how it goes. The borax is mostly a quick fix for severe irritation and burning. I'm going to try with the coconut oil to see if that helps for a more long term solution. Thanks so much for all the feedback here! I love this site :).

Replied by Mauve
Houston, Tx

Can I have the measurements for this douche, please. Thanks
Replied by Colleen

I suffered terribly with clitoral pain for 6 weeks being told it was just first a yeast infection, and then just low estrogen due to the fact that I was breastfeeding. It took many trips to the gyn, gastro-enterologist and a sigmoidoscopy (b/c I was also having some rectal symptoms) to finally be referred to the dermatologist who found by swabbing that area that I had group strep A ( like strep throat but genitally). My son had been found to have this rectally maybe 6 weeks ago when my symptoms started. I had mentioned that and they thought I was crazy to suggest it. I was so angered that I was right all this time and all it would have taken was a swab like I asked them to do. I suffered so much pain daily since it's the most sensitive spot of your body that I do believe like you wrote that maybe my now vulvodynia is a result of my body bracing for the daily pain for so long. It's getting better, however, I feel as if I might have just recently set myself back by either a probiotic or a new raw vitamin (with probiotic also in it) that I am taking. I also eat a lot of yogurt. Perhaps I am getting TOO much lactobacilli. I feel really sore around "6 and 8 oclock" but see nothing except morecervical mucus than usual. I'm thinking I'll stop the probiotic and vitamin and see. Please email me if you have any useful feedback.
Replied by Jillery
North America

Not sure this will help you and you probably already know this but:

wear cotton or NO underwear
when you wash use your fingertips and not a wash cloth
perhaps swab with a diluted betadyn solution once or twice a day to keep infection down

I used to get many vag infections and I know this is diff than the staff you get but douching with yogurt helped

Calcium Citrate
  User Ratings

Posted by Linda (Tx - Texas) on 09/19/2013

[YEA]  For Vulvodynia, I tried everything mentioned on this site and nothing helped then I read Effective Treatments By Clive Solomons, Ph. D. and yesterday I started taking calcium citrate, two twice a day and in less then 24 hours my pain went from a 10 down to a 5.

Replied by Olivia

Yes, this really helps me when things are bad. It also helps the urinary frequency feeling which vulvodynia gives ones.
Replied by Michele King
Hermitage, Tn, Usa

How many mg did u take?
Replied by Susan
Ca - California

What mg for calcium citrate?

Coconut Oil
  User Ratings

Posted by Julie (San Diego, California, United States) on 04/21/2010

[YEA]  This post will be a little long just because I have a lot to explain. The disease vulvodynia has affected me for about 2 years, ever since I was 16. I have gone through many ups and downs with this disease, my psychological health was extremely affected. All tests came up as negative with my doctors, and I did so much research and would only end up in tears or have a panic attack because of the overwhelming amount of women who have not found a cure for this awful problem-- all the suffering and the idea of this 'death sentence' drove me closer and closer to insanity. Doctors and even my own mother thought it was all in my head. Wrong. I have always been into natural cures, and was disappointed again to see the lack of hope for a cure on Earth Clinic (Not Earth Clinic's fault!). By chance I just happened to be looking at the coconut oil section and saw that one woman was able to cure her chronic, 21 yr old struggle with an 'incurable' bladder condition by ingesting coconut oil. A light bulb went off in my head. Well, this condition, I assumed, was what many women suffer from called interstitial cystitis (IC) that is extremely similar to vulvodynia, only it affects the bladder not the vagina. So between these two conditions, you are walking around feeling like you have a bladder or yeast infection, but the results come up negative so any infection is generally ruled out leaving the symptoms to remain with no end in sight. That's the connection I saw between the two. Some women have both IC and vulvodynia... I can't even imagine. There ARE women who have cured interstitial cystitis on Earth Clinic. The majority of them seem to think there is an undetectable infection and anti fungal/bacterial measures helped their situation. I caught on and thought well, it couldn't hurt to try some of these remedies just in case I myself have an undetectable infection. So I've been ingesting coconut oil everyday for about two weeks... at least 1 tsp a day. Sometimes I go all the way up to 2 tbsps it really varies... I tried not to get my hopes up but guess what-- this is the first time I've been pain free in 2 years. I'm reeeeally gonna try and not get too excited as things could change but for these two weeks I've been fine... coincidence? I hope not. I will definitely update! Ladies, your health is in your own hands. Remain optimistic and be creative. I took a cure I saw helped one woman for a completely different but curiously similar disease, and I think it's helped me. Don't give up! I'm only 18 and too young to have to suffer from this. Please, please do not settle to be a prisoner in your own body.

Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Julie,

I would also suggest you start drinking young coconut kefir. Since you are in San Diego, you will have access to excellent health food stores where you can find it in the refrigerated section. It's a bit pricey but you can extend it by buying either young coconuts or fresh young coconut water. Buy one of the coconut kefirs, put the coconut water in a glass container and add 1/4 cup of the kefir and it will turn the coconut water into kefir. This will help your body to re-colonize with the beneficial yeasts thereby overtaking the "bad" yeasts and help the body find its balance again.

If you want specifics on products or help about this you could ask EC for my email address and I can send the info to you directly.

I'm glad you're pro-active in your body's health. Good for you!

Replied by Agnes
Lake Orion, Michigan

This is a question for Julie. I am also suffering from Vulvodynia since a catheter was placed in my urethra for a test. I am pregnant 14 weeks and I have a lot of pain. Your post gave me hope, so I wanted to know if you're still in remission. Thanks. Agnes
Replied by Julie
San Diego, California

hi agnes, i actually had a similar experience with one of my doctors after i already had vulvodynia, he stuck a catheter in me without my permission and dismissed my problem... that was the last visit i ever had to a doctor for this issue. and to answer your question, YES, i am still a lot better... i have a little discomfort every now and then maybe for about 20 minutes a day but i am still for the most part pain free... still not getting my hopes up but i can't argue with an obvious improvement... hoping for the best! give your body time... i still don't expect this problem to be completely resolved for a long time... keeping my chin up, and keep yours up too. if you want, you can e-mail me...
GOOD LUCK, you CAN beat this :)
Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa

Hi Julie,

Did you ever look into young coconut kefir? I am certain it will help you eradicate your issue. You can make your own. I am certain there is a Whole Foods that is accessible to you where you can find what you need. Glad to hear you are seeing some improvement but it would be even better to have all symptoms completely gone! Take care, Lisa

Replied by Julie
San Diego, California

just wanted to update.. haven't taken coconut oil in a while but the pain/itching has pretty much stayed at bay.. have a few uncomfortable minutes during the day but nothing more! going to look into vitamin deficiencies
Replied by Kylie
Los Angeles, Ca

[YEA]   Hi ladies! I've suffered from vulvodynia off and on for over 5 years. My longest period of it was every day for 11 months. The pain was so bad that I couldn't walk well anymore and even began using crutches. I still get small flare-ups but I now know how to maintain them. I eat healthy (avoid acidic fluids that would be harmful to the vulva such as citrus/coffee), and I clean my underwear with baking soda and white vinegar before washing them in Purex detergent.

But the key to stopping and treating the pain is Colloidal oatmeal! I had some luck with coconut oil, but it never "treated" it fully, at least for me. I buy Aveeno baby bath oatmeal powder. I mix it with a bit of water to form paste then apply it to the red/painful areas of my vulva. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then soak in a bathtub with the rest of the packet of oatmeal. I apply the past in the morning and night and do the bath at night. In about 3-4 days I'm all healed! I still get flare-ups but atleast it doesn't have to ruin my whole life.

Replied by Shampoo
Los Angeles, Ca

Coconut oil taken internally and inserted everyday into the vagina in large amounts is incredibly soothing and healing to the tissues. I forget about the itch, burn, tightness, dryness and pain during the day with this oil. Thank God!!! Also, it makes you functional during sex. Best lubricant, and it smells good too!!
Replied by Pippa
Westport, Ct

Hi Julie, I've gone through a similar thing and would really like to hear more about your progress since you wrote that post. I'm 18 now and have been suffering on and off since about the 8th grade. Usually it will only get bad for a few weeks or months at a time and then subside randomly, but I've been in constant pain for about a year now and really desperate for anything to help. Please email me at Pippa. Hazlewod(at)

Thanks, Pippa

Replied by Moon
New York, Ny

Not coconut oil or anything natural, but botox injections into the muscles works to relax the muscles and in many patients cure them completely. I just had a 2nd round of botox after 3 months (needed more) and at this point things are feeling pretty soft inside, no knots like before in the muscles. I still have the vestibule inflammation, but I'm hoping this will subside with time. Botox is the only thing that has made a difference for me so far, and I am organic/natural - but it is actually pretty safe and worth it for this horrible condition! I see a great dr in New York.
Replied by Gina
New York, Ny

Hi moon, which dr(name) do u see in NY for botox injections?
Replied by Shinygirl
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi Moon, are botox injections painful? I am asking because of the pain there I am not able to get even a pap test done. Dont know if I will be able to take these injections. Thanks
Replied by Westlaker
Cazenovia, Ny

Hi Moon, Can you let me know the doc you see in NY? Thank you.
Replied by Mindyhoho
Manlius, Ny, Usa

I am also from the Cazenovia area, Westlaker. Has anyone tried evening primrose oil? Mindy
Replied by Sally
London, United Kingdom

Hi Julie, thanks for the advice. This is all just getting to me so much, it's getting between my relationship and everytime I try and have sex I just burst in to tears because the internal burn is so bad. Did the oil help the internal burn or just help the vulval itch? Also did you drink the coconut oil or insert it in to the vagina like another person suggested?
Replied by Brittney

Hi, are you still 100 percent cured? I been dealing with this issue since I was 15. I'm now 21 and no one knows what is wrong with me.
Replied by Cassidy
Howell, Mi

How are you feeling now? Still pain free?

Colloidal Oatmeal
  User Ratings

Posted by Ana Mua (Tamuning, Gu) on 06/06/2011

There is a cure on the Vulvodynia page that didn't get categorized in the menu bar. (Colloidial oatmeal. ) Wouldn't want it to be overlooked! Thanks for everything, EC team!

Cytolytic Vaginosis
  User Ratings

Posted by Patti (Portland, US) on 01/25/2015

Women's Health Update: Cytolytic Vaginosis; A Vaginitis You May Not Have Heard About

Cytolytic vaginosis(CV) is the current term for a condition of lactobacilli overgrowth. It is a little recognized but common cause of cyclic vulvovaginal complaints in women of reproductive age. CV is often misdiagnosed as candidiasis and most women have tried many antifungal medications both conventional and alternative, with little or no relief.

CV was first described as a clinical entity by Cibley and Cibley in 1982 and it was initially referred to as Doderlein's cytolysis (DC). They observed that the symptoms of CV were similar to Candida vaginitis, but when viewed under a microscope, there were differences.( 1,2) The name of Doderlein's was abandoned because these same authors realized that DC only refers to the Doderlein's species of lactobacilli when in fact there are approximately 80 different species of lactobacilli that have been described. CV was then proposed as the more accurate term that described the actual destruction of the epithelial cells caused by the overgrowth of lactobacilli. The experience of Cibley and Cibley was that the majority of the patients referred to them that thought they had chronic vulvovaginal candidiasis actually had CV instead.( 1)

The normal ecosystem of the vagina involves many different organisms that are involved in a system of checks and balances. No other concept in vaginal health is as important as the state of the ecosystem of the vagina. The flora that colonizes the vagina takes place in the birth canal during delivery, and the flora that is established in the newborn girl must therefore consist of the same strains as in the mother. The vaginal environment of a newborn changes during the first month, then again at prepuberty, puberty, during the reproductive years and post-menopausally. Additionally, the cyclic hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle also influence the vaginal ecosystem. It is a variable state throughout a woman's lifetime, but nothing is more key to this ecosystem than lactobacillus. The range of bacterial types isolated is immense, including Staphylococcus species, Garnerella vaginalis, Streptococcus species, Bacteriodes species, Lactobacillus species, Mobiluncus, Candida species, (most commonly Candida albicans), and more. The predominant organism isolated from the normal vagina are members of the Lactobacillus genus. One species of bacteria inhibits another and an elegant combination of pH, vaginal immunity, hormonal activity and the community of organisms that occupy the vagina interact in a manner in which bacterial overgrowth is controlled, unless the well-established mechanism of balance is thrown off by one factor or another.

Factors controlling this defense system include the health of the vaginal squamous epithelium, the dominance of Lactobacilli and the subsequent low or acid pH balance and hydrogen peroxide production, hormonal activity both over our lifetime as well as our monthly cyclic changes, pregnancy, contraceptive devices, feminine hygiene products, and vaginal sexual activity including friction, lubricants, foreign objects, and semen.

It has been proposed that lactobacilli and possibly other bacteria cause the symptoms of CV. Even though we lack full understanding about the exact mechanism of lactobacilli overgrowth, a clinical condition does exist with this overgrowth that manifests as chronic cyclic burning and itching. It appears that this is probably related to an overgrowth of lactobacilli that produces irritating acids.( 1)

Several mechanisms are possible for how Lactobacillus in normal amounts does its remarkable job of controlling the environment. A low vaginal pH is believed to be a primary mechanism controlling the composition of the vaginal micro flora. Lactic acid is produced by the metabolism of lactobacillus and although there may be other ways in which the vagina maintains its normal acidic environment, the role of lactobacilli seems evident. Lactobacilli thrive at an acidic pH of 3.5-4.5 and these values are indeed found in the normal vagina throughout the menstrual cycle.

Lactobacilli have also been shown to interfere with how pathogenic bacteria adhere and colonize the cells of the vagina.( 3) Hydrogen peroxide production is another well-recognized method of antagonism to problematic bacterial populations and there are strains of lactobacilli that produce hydrogen peroxide (H( 2)O( 2)). A lack of H( 2)O( 2) producing lactobacilli predisposes a woman to bacterial vaginosis by allowing the overgrowth of Gardnerella and other anaerobic bacteria. Lactobacilli also act directly as antibacterials( 4) and may function as an immune stimulant locally in controlling microbial levels in the vagina.

But what happens when there is too much Lactobacilli? Several species of lactobacilli ferment both glycogen and glucose to lactic acid, carbon dioxide, alcohol, formic acid, acetic acid, and hydrogen peroxide. It is these acids that cause the problem. When lactobacilli overgrow, toe many acids are produced, causing vulvar irritation and itching.


Symptoms of CV usually mimic those of vulvovaginal candidiasis. The most common symptom is itching, but vulvar burning, dysuria, and entry dyspareunia are often present as well. Cyclical and recurrent symptoms typically occur during the luteal phase and worsen premenstrually, increasing in intensity and severity until the onset of menses. Once the onset of menstrual flow occurs, the blood raises the vaginal pH and there is often dramatic relief of symptoms.( 1)

The physical exam is not particularly different from candida vulvovaginitis. The vulva may appear red and slightly swollen. There may be a small amount of white and slightly clumpy discharge. The vulvar tissues may be a little tender with discomfort during the speculum exam. The cervix, vagina, uterus and adnexae are normal unless there is also some other kind of co-infection. Even the pH of the vagina is normal in CV.


Diagnosis of CV is improved if the clinician has a high degree of suspicion of the condition. The history and physical exam basically mimics candida vulvovaginitis. The key is in the microscopic exam: 1) false clue cells with agglutination of lactobacilli to epithelial cells; 2) few white blood cells; 3) cytolysis of epithelial cells with pale or bare nuclei/cytoplasm and poorly defined cell borders; 4) absence of yeast, trichomonas, bacterial vaginosis, or other organisms.( 1)

Repeat microscopic exams that reveal the same findings is confirmation of CV. As you know, each episode of vaginitis symptoms may be due to a different cause.


The goal of therapy is aimed at reducing the overgrowth of lactobacilli and providing relief of symptoms. Use of antifungal agents, both conventional and alternative, should be discontinued because these agents may contribute to the recurring nature of the condition. Use of lactobacilli in the form of yogurt, supplements and suppositories should be stopped. It may also be wise to discontinue use of tampons because unimpeded menstrual flow acts much like an alkalinizing agent, raising the vaginal pH and inhibiting the overgrowth of lactobacilli.

Baking soda sitz baths offer relief by removing irritating acid secretions from contact with the vulvar tissues and also just a local soothing effect to excoriated tissue from itching. Mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 to 2 inches of warm bath water. Sit in the sitz bath twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash the tub after each use. Baking soda douches should be reserved for women whose symptoms do not respond to the sitz baths. This is because douching removes vaginal secretions and can disrupt the desired organisms in the vagina and create further problems in maintaining an ecological balance. Consider douching with baking soda once or twice a week during symptomatic phases when the sitz baths do not provide relief. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a pint of warm water and gently douche either in the bathtub or over the toilet.

Cytolytic vaginosis may coexist with candidiasis and may need to be managed by combining therapy for both. Using the local antifungal agent in the morning and the baking soda gentle douche in the evening for seven days would be an appropriate regime that may need to be repeated monthly in the premenstrual phase of the cycle.

Other recommendations may prove prudent:

Reduce dietary sugar.
Avoid soap in the genital area. Instead, wash with plain water, use pure unscented mineral oil on cotton balls as a cleanser
Wear white, all cotton underwear and launder with mild soap and hot water, rinsing thoroughly.
Avoid sexual intercourse during symptoms and initial therapy. Oral sex should also be avoided during symptomatic periods because bacteria in the partner's mouth may be irritating to the vulva.

As women and clinicians become aware of CV, women with cyclic vulvovaginitis will receive better health care and be managed more appropriately. With improved diagnosis of this condition and accurate treatment, fewer women will experience cyclic recurrences of their vaginitis. Success is especially seen when the wrong treatments are discontinued and something as simple as using menstrual pads are used instead of tampons. Treatment approaches to treat CV must be modified as necessary and practitioners must recognize the individual needs of each patient and be willing to be creative and somewhat experimental, utilizing the basic concepts and understanding of CV that we have discussed here.

(1.) Cibley J, Cibley J. Cytolytic vaginosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1991; 165: 1245-1248(supple 2).

(2.) Kaufman R, Friedrich E, Gardner H. Benign diseases of the vulva and vagina (ed 3). Chicago, III, Year Book Medical, 1989: 371-418.

(3.) Chan R, Bruce A, Reid G. Adherence of cervical, vaginal and distal urethral normal microbial flora to human uroepithelial cells and the inhibition of adherence of gram-negative uropathogens by competitive exclusion, J Urol/1984; 131: 596-601.

(4.) Andersson R, Daeschel M, Hassan H. Antibacterial activity of plantaricin SIK-83, a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus plantarum, Biochimie 1988; 70:381-90.

Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients.


By Tori Hudson

Herpes Caused
  User Ratings

Posted by Meg (Columbus, Oh, Usa) on 03/07/2012

So I had vulvodynia (I have Interstitial Cystitis) and I thought it was yeast because I suspected that was what was causing my IC issues. I went to my MD Kinesiologist and he found that I had the herpes virus attacking my sacral nerves, causing me genital burining and itching. My doc tested me for remedies and put me on a homeopathic series and freeze dried garlic, which have helped. I also had him check olive leaf extract and chaparral, which are known to combat the herpes virus. I was just wondering if anyone else had luck with olive leaf or chaparral in killing the herpes virus.

Replied by Hopeful
Columbus, Oh

Hi Meg. I too am from Columbus and am having the same exact problem. Itching and burning (caused by the same reason :( ) The itch is really provoked when that certain area is touched either when washing or wiping after going to BR. So, I feel that the nerves are in overdrive. I also tear very easily. I have been seeing my gyn and she always seems puzzled. She told me at first that this could be caused by H. Then she says that that would not cause constant itch and burn. So, without even checking, she put me on a strong regimen of diflucan cause it "seems like yeast" (even tho no discharge) then said I am heading for biopsy if that doesn't work. Anyways if you could give me the name of the person treating you here that would be so wonderful. I have searched all over the internet for someone who specializes in vulvar problems local and I got nothing. And on the internet I am reading alot that most doctors are clueless about vulvodynia and that damage of the nerves. Soooo frustrating! I also give EC permission to give you my email if you would like to get a hold of me. Thank you so much and I hope you are still on the road to recovery :) hope I will be soon....
Replied by Sydney
Cinci, Ohio

I too have been suffering from external burning for several months.... It comes and goes. It seems to come and worsen from wearing tight pants, sitting prolonged periods, riding bikes, walking for long periods of time. I have herpes simplix 1 and I only know that because I have been tested for everything and this came up. I have never had one cold sore on mouth or outbreak anywhere else. Wondering why your drs think that this could be caused by herpes. Im only asking bc it happens so frequently and typically with herpes it rarely shows symptoms if any. Did they do a biopsy to know this or just guessing? I am dying to know bc I am wondering of I should have a biopsy done, or can this no way be from herpes?? Do you have frequent outbreaks when these problems occur so your dr is associating with this?

Hippocrates Soup
  User Ratings

Posted by Piggyonthemoon (Washington Dc) on 06/30/2015

[YEA]  Vulvodynia: I tried using all the listed remedies for the severe burning all of which provided some relief for the symptoms but no cure.

Out of desperation I tried a fast with a special soup called Hippocrates Soup by Dr. Max Gerson made for cancer and the burning disappeared within 2 days. You can find the recipe online. Totally miraculous. Everything back to normal after months of not being able to walk or do anything without pain.

So I'm posting this hoping it can help anyone out there. This is a fast which should be used for a couple of weeks. It's not easy and should be supplemented with vegetable smoothies only. No other food or drink, take protein pills - grass fed liver pills only, available at health stores or amazon. No fruit but Kafir yoghurt is okay.

The worst thing that can happen is you cleanse your system. It's really bland, do NOT add salt or have salt at all in your diet during this time. Add only a cup of water when simmering soup and don't use a pressure cooker, only stove top.

I hope this helps someone. Be sure the veggies are organic.

Holistic Healing
  User Ratings

Posted by Elodieluna (Sydney) on 10/24/2012

Lets get something straight. Vulval vestibulitis is not a disease. It is a symptom, not a cause. It is a pain syndrome which can have a multitude of different causes, such as candida, or even eczema as underlying triggers. Try to find the underlying cause for your vulvar pain. Try and avoid accepting prescription medications such as antidepressants to treat the problem. Like with most things in western medicine, it isn't very interested in healing the body, only masking the underlying cause with nasty chemicals which will eventually lead to secondary health problems. We all know this. A very interesting article I would recommend is one from the journal of pain management on holistic methods for addressing womens gyno pain. It will change the way you look at things. We seem to forget that everything has an emotional basis. The body and mind are not seperate. Its called the mental-emotional body for a reason. Heal the emotional trauma that gave rise to your physical illness and you have truly healed. Namaste.

Replied by Faith
New York

This is a very rude response to a very real problem. Not everything is in a person's head.

Magnesium Citrate
  User Ratings

Posted by Cathy (Ireland) on 09/02/2012

[YEA]  I suffered with vaginal burning and swelling for over 25yrs. I tried every antibiotic and cream available but to no avail, I tried taking baing soda in water sometimes adding lemon juice and acv, this gave tempory relief. I was suffering with constipation after a spinal injury and decided to take magnesium citrate 400mg each nite, I was taking it for about 2-3 yrs and never had an attack of burning or swelling especially after intercourse, I stopped taking the magnesium about 3-4 months ago and 2weeks ago after intercourse it came back with a vengence so it was back to the baking soda with water, fluconazole tabs, icepack between legs, nothing worked, I was searching my mind to see what I may have done or taken that would start all this up again and it dawned on me that the only thing that had changed was stopping the magnesium citrate, so I'm off to the health shop first thing in the morn and please God this will cure it again, I will keep you posted. Cathy

Replied by Earth200749
Durham, NC

How much magnesium are you taking? I just started taking it because I read that it will feed the muscles with oxygen.
Replied by Billie
Florida, US

A few questions, I think I may have Vulvodynia. How did you know you have it? Did you get checked out by a doctor? What signs did you have? And did the magnesium citrate work?

Multiple Remedies
  User Ratings

Posted by Gianna (San Diego, Ca) on 01/24/2012

This post will be long and as detailed as possible because like myself, I am sure many woman want ALL the advice they can get for this mysterious condition. I want to tell about the moment I began to feel the pain, the in between, and how I went back in time and really analyzed myself and my past leading up to this.

In July of 2011, I began to notice the pain. As the months progressed it became worse. Most of my life I have been susceptible to Yeast Infections and Bacterial Infections. They were so common that I didn't even need to go to the Doctor to get them diagnosed anymore. I would just call in and they would send the prescription to my Pharmacy. Well, I thought I had one or the other multiple times during the past 6 months, but the medication never seemed make the pain go away or make me feel better like it had always done in the past. The symptoms were still there. Urinating was painful and I often thought I had a UTI. But I have had UTI's before and this didn't feel exactly the same. Urinating was just painful, burning, irritating; I never really cramped up like I had all the times I actually had a UTI. And sex was just PAINFUL. I had a boyfriend at the time and I never wanted to have sex because of the pain, but many times I would just suck it up and endure the pain because I did not feel comfortable talking to him about my ailment and I didn't want him to suspect anything else or feel like things were weird. At first it was only painful when he inserted himself and then pulled out. It burned. Maybe I wasn't aroused enough, but after a while I realized that wasn't the case because I could tell that I was. After a while the pain was with each stroke, and it would get worse and worse. Because I was anticipating the pain, during intercourse I would tense up the hold time. I could never relax. I would just close my eyes and hope that it would be over soon. Till this day I am upset that I didn't speak up and let him know the pain I was feeling because the more I think about it and the more research I do on Vulvodynia, I realize that my tense muscles "down there" during intercourse may have been the cause of this. There are so many accusations and "possible" reasons why women get Vulvodynia, all of which I will not list because I am sure you already know them, but for me, I think I found my answer as to how I got it.

I was diagnosed with Vulvodynia in early December 2011. Like many women, I became depressed and felt helpless. I mean, when your Doctor tells you that there is no known cure and that they do not know what causes it, you become hopeless. I began to do research EVERYDAY, trying to find ways to cure this and get rid of it. The thought of not being able to have sex again or have a "normal" relationship (Normal in the sense of a healthy sexual relationship with someone) made me even more depressed, but I knew I had to do something. I found a few articles and blogs where women talked about their Vulvodynia and how they controlled it, had it for years, or still have it and can't get rid of it.

Then I came across Earth Clinic and had some glimmer of hope. After reading a few of the posts on Earth Clinic, I decided to try some of them out. I tried the Coconut Oil. That did not work for me, BUT I now take the coconut oil capsules because they have other benefits. It just did nothing for me down there. I started taking Calcium Citrate plus Magnesium plus Vitamin D3 (all in one capsule). I also began taking Cranberry Supplements (this helps with the bladder muscles it helped to relax me which has eased the pain a bit). I also take Probiotics to help regulate the flora in my body. I tried to be on a Low Oxalate Diet, which was SO HARD, but I tried it. I was willing to do whatever it takes. Overall, I was feeling a little better, but it still was not helping.

After trying all of this, I had sex for the first time a month after being diagnosed. The pain was still there, but I told myself to keep relaxing, don't tense up, try not to think about it, etc. But we all know that is easier said than done. Sex was still painful. I decided to do more research and realized I never fully tried some of the exercises people were talking about. I began to look into Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises and Perineum Massage. I started to realize that during sex I would tense up a lot. My partner liked to put me in positions that weren't really comfortable for me and I would tense up because it would hurt sometimes. With some positions I thought that was normal because it wasn't a burning pain, just a pain many women say they have when they are in certain positions, an uncomfortable pain. But it was uncomfortable the whole time. Well one of the possible causes of Vulvodynia is Sexual Abuse. Now, I was never sexually abused nor am I trying to compare my situation to a sexual abuse victim, but I am saying that tensing up and "bracing yourself" you might say, have some similarities. Could I have possibly traumatized my muscles? Did the penetration make me have nerve damage due to tensing up during intercourse? Sex with my partner wasn't that painful UNLESS he put me in positions that I was uncomfortable in (I am not flexible, so he would put my legs and hips in positions my body was not use to which in turn tensed me up). I began to really think about it and thought, maybe my Vulvodynia is caused by my tense muscles and overtime I have traumatized them.

I read one post about a woman who did a Perineum Massage where she would insert her thumb into her vagina and push on her perineum as hard as she could for 30-45 seconds. I began to do this every day, 4-5 times a day. At first it was painful, it burned, it felt uncomfortable and I thought I would not be able to tolerate it. But the key is to relax your muscles while you do this. The first few days it will be painful and hurt, but after a while, you will begin to feel better and the pain will minimize, if not just minimize but actually go away completely. I also began doing the Pigeon Pose stretch to help open my hips. Another stretch I do daily is lay on my back with my feet on the ground and knees up. I then open my legs and let them fall to the side, keeping feet together. You will feel a tremendous stretch in your groin. It has been 3 weeks and I feel 95% better. I do not have the burning or itching sensation that I had those previous 6 months. I could sit at my desk and work without having pain. I can pee without the burning sensation. I have taken up Yoga as well, to help me relax. I feel that has something to do with it too. Relaxation is key. I was stressed out and when you stress, your muscles feel it. For me, the supplements and the Perineum Massage have helped. I have not had sex yet, that's why I say I feel 95%, so I am not sure if this has been my total cure, but I definitely notice a difference in my day to day. I feel normal again.

Just to clarify, this is what I have done to try and curb my Vulvodynia (which seems to have worked) and I do all of this DAILY:

  • Calcium Citrate Mag Vitamin D3 Supplement

  • Cranberry Supplement

  • Probiotic Supplement

  • ONLY drink water

  • Low Oxalate Diet sometimes, when I think about it

  • Perineum Massage DAILY (every time I pee) - This is what I feel REALLY helped

  • Pigeon Pose and Other Pelvic Floor exercise

  • Yoga 3 times a week
  • RELAX as often as I can (relax my body, deep breathing, relax my muscles down there when I think about it, etc)

    Again, I have not had intercourse yet, so I cant say it is completely gone, but I feel so much better, I am much more positive and I know that I am closer to recovery. I hope this post helped someone at least. It may not help everyone, but it has helped me. Good luck , stay positive, and RELAX.

  • Replied by Shampoo
    Los Angeles, Ca

    Girl, I feel you!!!! Everything you described is exactly what I was going through too but I know one thing is for certain::: What we have is some kind of infection!! I promise. This is either yeast, or bacteria. Because, I have had brief periods, where I can cure it with herbs and oils, and sex feels 100% normal again.
    Replied by Gianna
    San Diego, Ca

    It may be a type of infection.... BUT I'm telling you, the perenium massage works! I only itch like once every 4-5 days and for like 5 min, if that! Also, to cure the itch, I bought the Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal and make a small amount of paste with it and apply it to the area for like 20 minutes then wash it off. That helps. Also, when I shower, I use Johnson and Johnson Baby wash for down there.. My doctor said "If you can put it in your eye, you can put it in your.... " So it is very gentle on the area. As far as the burning goes, I havent had much lately, except when I wear extremely tight jeans and sit down. The crotch gets a little restricting and I hurt a little bit. Trust me, I am trying WHATEVER I can to cure this! I am 28.. WAY too young to have to worry about sex or lack there of. LOL.... But again, relaxing helps too :)
    Replied by Amai
    San Sebastian, Spain

    Hi there did you improve more since last post with the vaginal exersices you mentioned?..... would be great if you keep posting here your path to recovery so we can make a follow up and give us the steps do to so...Thank you
    Replied by Nathalie
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    Gianna, thank you! Reading your post was very refreshing for me.... I feel there is hope. I am interested to know how your symptoms are now that a few months have passed since that post. I understand that this may not work for everyone, but I will give it a try and hope I have the same results.... Thank you again....
    Replied by Gianna
    San Diego, Ca

    Hello ladies... It has been a year and I have no longer had any symptoms of vulvadynia. The exercises I did seemed to help. If I ever feel like my vulvadynia might be coming back, I do the exercises again for a few times a day for a week, just to make sure. I have had pain free sex for a whole. What I have noticed though is that when I am taking antibiotics, the symptoms of vulvadynia come somewhat back.. The beginning stages that is. Just keep faith and try whatever you feel is necessary. :)
    Replied by Gianna
    San Diego, Ca

    Another thing I noticed that causes symptoms of vulvodynia are after prolonged "forcing" of orgasaming. That seems to irritate the muscles "down there" which can cause vulvodynia. So I do exercises after I orgasm just I'm case.
    Replied by Torontolady
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Gianna, thanks for your post! You have given me hope. I was diagnosed with vulvodynia after a year of hell which started with a bladder infection in February 2012. It took about 10 doctors, eight trips to emerg and countless tests for me to find the right doctor to diagnose it, so much so that it was actually a relief when someone a) proved it was not only in my head but b) it wasn't anything life threatening. I already have a number of other health conditions, so I didn't need another serious one.

    For me, just the peace of mind knowing what it was has helped me to heal a little bit, but I'm only about 50% better from before the bladder infection. (I also may have IC, being tested in another two weeks)... I've started going to therapy but it costs an absolute FORTUNE and I only work three days a week right now, so I can't really afford it. To know that you can do this stuff on your own, without having to pay thousands of dollars, is giving me a lot of hope!

    About three weeks ago, I was in Jamaica, and I found swimming in the ocean worked wonders for the vulvodynia. I was in almost NO pain the whole week we were away, the first time I'd had near total relief in a year! There's no ocean in Toronto, but my boyfriend bought me some bath salts that he read were recommended for women with vulvodynia. I'm going to give that a try.

    Replied by Torontolady
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Gianna, is there any way I can get in touch with you? I'd love to touch base with someone who is dealing with this as well! I'm so on my own right now... :-(
    Replied by Carole
    Bury Village, West Sussex,, England

    You might like to try using some ACV in your bath - I found this very helpful when I had my first (and only hopefully) attack of vulvodynia last year, following (my first) urinary tract infection. You might also check out your pH levels and make sure they are balanced.
    Replied by Tinlizzie
    New York, Ny

    I thank God for this site! What a find! "Multiple remedies" is right -- remember that our bodies are systems, and this dividing of our symptoms into distinct "diseases" has no relation to reality. (Is it fungal or bacterial? Is it vaginitis or vulvodynia? Who cares! ) It doesn't fit WOMEN'S reality; it's male dominated and just as dumb as a guy trying to figure us out mentally.

    I know this and have studied it for years as an independent journalist. Now I've taken up with a smart, warm-hearted man, a cell biologist -- only to find this problem flaring up again. I don't have to worry about a cell biologist passing me a disease or getting embarrassed hearing about my problem. I haven't shared it all with him yet, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to beat it in a few days, I am certain, and tell him about it as we explore further. One good thing is that it's a long-distance relationship at this point. It gives us some time to analyze this and also figure out how to handle middle age.

    One thing he told me a couple of nights ago on the phone was that I probably had bacterial and fungal problems, given my history (which I have shared). And he gave the most informed answer I have yet heard: Just alkalize!

    I look at all these "multiple remedies" on different threads and realize they all have something to do with suspected "infections" -- but if we focus on the bugs and not the environment, we're not getting anywhere. Again, who cares if they found this or that under a microscope? There are general remedies for this.

    I do a few alkalizing things -- such as drinking water with a little baking soda in it, bathing while scrubbing with baking soda, drinking a lot of water and no soft drinks, and loading up on fresh, raw veggies. I eat mung beans for breakfast, with a little cottage cheese and flax oil. Yum! But finding those pH testing strips for urine is hard. My lover is absolutely insistent on this. I must find the strips, and I must test my urine every morning. Yes, sir!

    I'm grateful to be with a wonderful man, and grateful for the Internet, which has brought me together with informed and helpful women.

    I just know that it's an underlying condition, and so I don't focus on the specific symptoms as much. I'm going to alkalize, cleanse of parasites and such, and get good nutrition and supplements.

    I've tried the coconut oil -- both ways, you might say -- with less-than-inspiring results, but I may resume that when things are less itchy. I'll start taking it internally again, anyway. At any rate, the idea to use it as a sexual lubricant is dynamite and well worth this adventure to find out about.

    Right now I'm getting great relief from two things I found on the Internet: bathing with a little tea tree oil in the water, and inserting a tampon (natural, chlorine-free type) soaked in beet kvass (a fermented product in a jar, available at health food stores). LOL, I didn't have any yogurt on hand! Same organisms, fermented, no milk (which could have its own issues) involved. It feels fine, even if the red color is a bit freaky.

    I tried an experiment douching with a few drops of tea tree oil in the water, with mixed and mostly negative results. Douching in general is probably a bad idea without doing other things like the soaked tampon, and tea tree oil is rather harsh and should probably be suspended in another oil like vitamin E or jojoba, and emulsified into the water using a little baking soda. Just some speculation there.

    Oh, and taking a drink of two ounces RAW apple cider vinegar and six ounces of water felt immediately great, just inside me in general. There's no way that didn't help my condition. I think I'm going to do that three times a day and really enjoy it.

    Gonna check out that "massage" thing. It's been a mystery why I close up when aroused, but consider the mystery solved. Women who have felt this irritated on the outside are not going to let anything into the inside, and it's just a reflex. If you think you've got psychological hangups, rest assured that you probably don't. Just unconscious reflexes, perfectly understandable when you've experienced this pain.

    One question: Does anybody have pain in those little corners of the outer vulva where it attaches to the inner vulva, that feel like tiny sores? I'm hoping that goes away, too, with these natural remedies. So frustrating that nobody can see them. I even asked my boyfriend if he could see them, and he couldn't. And he's trained to see things! ... Please don't tell me they're a herpes outbreak or something like that. I honestly don't have herpes.

    And by the way, to the person who is afraid she can't get Pap smears -- forget it. There are no data behind those things, and they only find random cancer cells, not tumors, and they don't tell you the odds of these things turning into tumors and killing you. If you get cancer, there are alternatives for that too. But if you alkalize, you likely won't get cancer.

    Especially these younger women, the 18-year-olds, should take this as a wake-up call about living on Pepsi and pizza, mac-and-cheese, and fast-food burgers. Get thee to a veggery, girls!

    Replied by Joy
    Battleground, Washington

    There is a vaginal herpes that is herpes simplex and one that is called herpes zoster which feels similar and appears similar but is a form of shingles from having had chicken pox. Very painful and brought on like any shingles outbreak from emotional stress or trauma, prescription cream used for shingles heals it.
    Replied by Southerngirl
    Birmingham, Alabama, Usa

    Hi, Torontolady from Toronto, Ontario, Canada -- I was curious as to how the bath salts are working. I wanted to try this method if it has proven useful and effective for you. Can you respond on the forum or email me (or can I email you)?
    Replied by Amai

    Hi everybody suffering.....Vulvodynia...I'm coming back here to tell anyone who is struggling with this situation, I know the suffering both physical and Mental.......YOU WILL HEAL....don't worry, ...I've been suffering this for years.....and after gyno, and other places..I started searching on the net (as everybody else here)...due to pure desperation.....well, it was here where I found Gina's advice and she was/ doesn't matter where the pain, itching located on your vulvar area, (including vaginal entrance)......all is formed, created because we CLENCH wrongly those muscle down there......the best way to heal is to start as Gina posted, massaging the perineal area....but I found out that the best way is (I know is hard to think to do it when you feel like crap)...but you must...MASTURBATE...with your finger (s)....vaginal introducion is must focus on relax, and first gonna be painful because those muscles are really need to release them slowly.....while doing will see it is YOU who is in control, and that it was a mistake to clench those need to learn how your body reacted clenching those muscles and as soon as you release will be healed.
    Replied by Dakotabum01
    Toronto, Ontario

    Hi everyone,

    I am so glad to have found this forum! I have been diagnosed after almost 4 very painful years with this awful condition. Have been on Amitriptalin, Gabapentin, Cymbalta is the newest one...which is doing nothing..the list goes on and on, creams, coconut oil, baking soda, nothing seems to help. I am thinking of trying the vitamin mixture I have seen here, and am wondering if I should wait until I am weaned off of the meds I am now on? Any feed back is appreciated, and please do share your positive experiences with me as I am in need of some good news!

    Replied by Julie C
    Santa Cruz, Ca

    I must say to all ladies out their that this is hell on earth and a total rip off for woman in every way. I have had this nightmare for 24 years when they would just throw you elavil pills. So many clueless doctors and so much many wasted. I will now turn to you guys who seem to have answers. Try everything before you're me, someone that just keeps hoping and waiting something will change. I've been all over the country and to Stanford but clueless Drs! If they have MD in their name-run ladies run! They make beet kvass here in Santa cruz and I can buy it by the gallon so I will. I also found out that I was extremely low in vit D and probiotics. I'm going for it full throttle now. Just put on cocount oil too and yes it feels nice. But that little pesty itching must go away!! What is that? Bugs running around just living it up in my vagina??

    Pelvic Floor Muscle Stretch
      User Ratings

    Posted by Rb (Pala, Uk) on 05/20/2013


    Hello, Just wanted to write and say that I too have had almost complete success in treating vulvodynia. Sorry, this is a very very long post... But please take the time to read it, it might help you!! After 3 years of hell I have found a way of managing my pain, and learned a lot about my body in the process. I know how awful the condition is, and really want to help:

    I had been suffering from provoked vulvodynia for three years, since age 17. It was ruining my life. I had pain-free sex for a year prior to this, and then after a minor back accident I started experiencing symptoms of nerve damage, such as spasming down my left leg and muscle contractions. Eventually this manifested itself into excrutiating vaginal and clitoral pain, and about a year after the vaginal pain began I started getting stinging bladder pain every time I urinated, which gradually got worse and worse. I would also be in pain at least three days after attempting to have sex - it would feel like I had been kicked repeatedly in the abdomen. I think because of my age doctors were even more reluctant to admit that I had a problem - I was told on many occassions that the pain was all in my head and that 'I just needed to have more sex'. Over the course of those three years I sunk into quite a depression, and was no longer confident about my sexuality. I viewed all men as predators, and was not able to experience the kind of life most of my friends were experiencing. University was horrible because I felt like I was the odd one out, who was in too much pain to date boys. And I used to internalise my pain as if it were a huge dark secret... I was too embarrassed to tell anybody, except a few close friends back home, and my mum. I was very lucky to have my mum's support - I would urge anybody who has this condition to speak to someone close about it, because it is too much of a burden to carry around on your own. There were times when I felt utterly hopeless and lonely and considered taking my own life - I don't know what I would have done without support from the people around me.

    Anyway, I tried all the usual things... Estrogen cream, amitryptaline, gabapentin, acupuncture, a low oxalate diet etc. Nothing worked. I decided to see a chiropractor who specialised in pelvic pain that I had come across online, and she told me that my pelvis was severely misaligned, (due to my posture, my skeletal structure from birth and the minor back accident I had) and that this was probably affecting a nerve that supplied my genitals. She also suggested that I might have a tight piriformis muscle, which is the muscle that the pudendal (genital) nerve runs through - and this might be damaging the nerve. My left foot stuck out to one side when I was lying down, and this suggested piriformis syndrome. I had quite a few (expensive) sessions with her, but every week my pelvis would slip back into its old misaligned position because my core muscles were not strong enough to hold it in place, and the harsh chiropractic technique seemed to aggravate the nerve rather than help it - I was having bad flare-ups where my muscles would spasm a lot and pain would shoot down from my lower back into my left hip, down to my knee, my big toe... The sexual pain did not improve either - it was still literally extrutiating to attempt sex or any kind of sexual contact, and unfortunately I had no understanding partner who I could practice with -not many boys in their late teens would stick around with someone with my issues, I thought. If I got interest from a boy I would always push them away, and completely ignore my own feelings in the process. Sex became so scary and I not only worried about pain but also my own inexperience from all that time I was forced to be celebate.

    After much pursuasion and a long time to-ing and fro-ing from surgery to hospital clinic I managed to convince a reluctant dermatologist ( - who told me that she had been seeing women with my condition for 40 yrs, and had not managed to cure one of them - she also told me that my pain was 'probably all psychological' -) to refer me to a neurologist. The neurologist carried out an EMG test on my back and yes - I did have a trapped nerve in the lumbar region of my spine. The neurologist said that this nerve could also be affecting the nerve that supplies the genitals, the pudendal nerve - so I am due for another EMG to find out if this is the case in about a weeks time.

    Six weeks ago, despairing because my pain was still very bad and I had tried and failed at everything the doctors had suggested, I went to see a physical therapist. The man I see broke his back in a motorbike accident in his twenties and was told by doctors he would never walk again. He is now in his fifties and super fit. He trains many people and has a great knowledge of the human body.

    I told him my symptoms and he agreed that a tight piriformis muscle might be constricting the pudendal nerve. After doing some stretches she identified that I did indeed have piriformis syndrome. Over the last six weeks he has been giving me a course of exercises to stretch out the piriformis muscle and realign my crooked pelvis, and I do stretches similar to those described in Amy Stein's book (I do have a copy of the book, but I think it was very important for me to be told exactly how to do these stretches properly, so as not to do more damage than good - I am also very lazy and it helps me to stay motivated seeing a personal trainer once a week. I think also, each body is different, and it is important to tailor your regime to suit your needs) and in that short time, I have completely eliminated my muscle spasms, I no longer have back pain that radiates into my leg and foot, and my bladder pain has disappeared. My vulval pain, that was at an 8.5 - 9 out of ten, is now at a 1 - 2. I am hoping this will continue to get better - I am also trying meditation in order to dispell any anticipated pain that my brain might be holding on to. Seeing a physical therapist is quite expensive but 100% worth it. Once I learn to do these exercises properly and integrate them into my daily regime, I will have them for life, and will no longer need to see the therapist.

    In order to maintain this pain free life I have to do the stretches and exercises for at least half an hour every day. In modern life we are forced to sit at desks and slump in chairs a lot and this is so bad for our posture - it is amazing what stretching out the core muscles can do. Through exercise I have effectively cured my tight muscles and piriformis syndrome which were pressing down on a nerve. It is important that we have strong supportive core muscles before we can work on the superficial muscles, because it is the ones deep down that stabalize everything and make sure we do not get musculo-skeletal problems.

    Having to deal with vulvodynia has completely changed me as a person. In a warped way it has actually benefitted me in that I was forced to examine myself as a person rather than just a sexual object - I used to play on my sexuality a lot, and having this condition has really taught me to not rely on these assets, and instead develop a strong character and personality that makes me valuable for more than just my physicality. Sorry if this sounds cheesy, and I'm not trying to peddle dime-store feminism or anything, but it's true! I couldn't rely on male attention for my self esteem anymore so I had to find it elsewhere, through developing hobbies and exploring more Buddhist ideas and accepting the bad things that happened to me. I have also got more male friends now, because I have been able to develop strong friendships without any sexual agenda. I am starting to speak up about my condition. I have told two close male friends and both have been sympathetic, and not treated me any differently. Any man that is seriously going to judge you for this is not worth your time of day.

    For those of you in England, the Vulval Pain Society puts on some very inspiring talks about managing pain. I was so nervous about going to a talk but it made me feel optimistic. Many of the speakers are women who have managed to cure themselves though things like hypnosis and meditation. David Nunns, the head of VPS, also speaks, and gives a lot of valuable information about how to navigate the heath system with a condition that a lot of so-called 'health professionals' are completely ignorant about. The best thing about the day was meeting many women and their partners with the same issues as me. Vulvodynia is a very isolating condition and it is so comforting but also saddening to know that I am not alone, and there are many other women experiencing the same things as me. There were women of all ages at the talk - at least five women were in their early twenties like me, which was reassuring.

    The last thing I will say is that I know from experience that the worst thing to do when you are feeling depressed about this awful condition is spend hours trawling the internet reading about people's experiences - most people that post online about this choose to be negative, sadly. This is not beneficial for the person writing the negative post, or the person reading it. I think as we are all going through this together we have a responsibility to try and offer helpful and encouraging advice to each other.

    In the next few weeks I am going to try a method for neuropathy called Body Stress Release. It is supposed to be beneficial for vulvodynia - you can find out about it online. The pudendal neuralgia EMG test is very scary and invasive but hopefully it will give me even more answers when I have it. I wish you all the best of luck and hope that many of you will turn to exercise as a means of curing your pain. Thank you for reading this! There is always hope for the future no matter how desolate things seem now.

    Replied by Joy
    Battleground, Wash

    I also have Amy Stein's book and it is very interesting covering not just womens issues but pelvic issues for children to old people. My PT said it might help me, but it wasn't my answer but did help me understand why one of my children had disconnect with bladder and bowel and was also muscular and tightly wound. Patience is so important with our fellow humans and their sufferrings. Thank you for your story. May all your outcomes be GOOD ones. Love, Joy