Vulvodynia, a silent disease and little known in women



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Mexico.- Pamela Clynes lived for two and a half years with chronic pain in the vulva. At first he went to the gynecologist because he thought it was a vaginal infection, but after several studies that possibility was ruled out.

Pamela tells Efe that the level and constancy of the pain were such that standing, lying or sitting felt her. He says he visited several gynecologists, a bacteriologist and even a gastroenterologist looking for a diagnosis.

He went through a culture and was ruled out the presence of viruses, fungi or bacteria, so the gynecologist told him that his condition could be something completely emotional and sent to the psychologist.

"The doctors sent me to the psychologist because they said that I was inventing the pain, and there came a point where I thought I was really making up, I started to feel guilty and I had a very strong depression," he shares.

After a while, Pamela began researching at Google about her symptoms and discovered the National Vulvodynia Association in the United States, which has been investigating this condition for 21 years. Thanks to this institution, this disorder is already recognized as a gynecological condition in that country.

Pamela says she was able to travel to the United States to be diagnosed with generalized vulvodynia and pelvic floor dysfunction.

But he knows that not all women have the means to make a trip; For this reason, he created Peace with Pain, the first digital platform in Mexico that talks about vulvodynia, since it is little known and there are no statistics on the disease.

This condition has no cure, but can bring a good quality of life with a multidisciplinary treatment, so that it can fall on the gynecologist, urologist, psychologist, dermatologist or palliative.

Pamela points out that treatments range from "nerve blocks, anticonvulsants, antidepressants or any drug that helps reduce inflammation of the nervous system, topical anesthesia, even vaginal diazepam capsules and in extreme cases of surgery."

And while you may think that being a condition in the genital area only has problems with sex, Clynes points out that it goes beyond.

"You lose quality of life, not only limit the sexual part, it limits you in everything, I had years without being able to exercise, I can not ride a bicycle, wear tight clothes, or sit in the same chair for a long time," he says. .

He adds that this can be an invisible disease, since those who suffer from it can continue to make their lives normal, even if the pain is very strong.

It also emphasizes that being a condition in the genital area, many women prefer not to talk about it because there are many taboos.

Vulvodynia is a chronic pain in the vulva that does not have a definite origin, although the research carried out indicates that one of the main causes is in the nervous system.

Among its symptoms are intense burning in the vulva, irritation, stinging sensation, discharge or having received a blow, dryness, generalized pain and anal or rectal pain that increases when sitting down.

It can also be genetic or the nerve has been damaged or it can generate some kind of trauma, which causes the pain signals to be transmitted to the brain.

Very little is known about this condition all over the world, as in Mexico.

In the United States, the National Association of Vulvodynia estimates that there are millions of women with this condition, and only in that country is it considered that six million are affected by this disease.

Pamela asks not to call vulvodynia "depressed vagina," because although the condition has to do with the nervous system is not correct and "it's a macho term," he concludes.

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