When was the last time that you heard someone avoiding something because of their painful vulva or vagina?
Unless you are a healthcare provider, most probably that your answer is 'never'.
Vulvar and vaginal pain can paralyze just as headache or backache does, but most people who suffer from it won’t find it as easy to talk about, not even with their best friends,
they suffer quietly,
Part of it is because the vulva and the vagina are still a tabu, you just don't talk about it, and part of it is because of doctors' lack of awareness.
Doctors are supposed to be a safe place for anyone with pain, but they can easily make it worse for people with vulvar and vaginal pain, as too many of them are still unaware of vulvodynia;
How would they know? vulvodynia is under-researched, unrecognised as a chronic pain condition, and not yet regularly studied in medical schools, even though about 1 in 7 people with a vulva suffers from it!
This is why it is often misdiagnosed, and people with painful vulva would go through unnecessary and invasive examinations and receive the wrong treatments.
Some doctors, after ruling out possible diseases, may blame the person's state of mind for having the pain and advice them to relax and have a glass of wine before sexual intercourse, as if their pain isn't real, but it is! and it has a solution!
Vulvar and vaginal pain should NOT cause shame, so first, when dealing with it always search for doctors and healthcare providers who are familiar with this pain.
Second, let's all normalize this pain
Let's talk about vulvodynia✨