Symptoms and Effects of Vulvodynia

Stabbing pain. Burning. Itching. Glass shards. Every step is torture. Electric shock. Raw, tearing skin. Rose thorns inside me. Extreme tightness.

These are very common ways women describe what having vulvodynia feels like. I have felt: 7/9

Excruciatingly painful intercourse. Can’t sit for long periods of time. Lost my job because of it. Can’t wear underwear or any kind of tighter pants. Absolutely NO tampons. PTSD. Anxiety. Depression. Relationships fall apart.

These are very common experiences women with vulvodynia have.  My score: 4/9

I’ll never have kids. He’s going to leave me. I’m forever doomed to be alone. I’m so hopeless. My doctors won’t listen to me. No one believes me. I never go out anymore. Nothing is fun anymore. I’m broken and I hate myself.

These are very common thoughts for women with vulvodynia. I have thought: 7/9

And I am absolutely, 100%, not exaggerating. I am in a Facebook group with over 3,000 women with vulvodynia (or other conditions that relate to vaginal pain). These symptoms and effects of vulvodynia are frequently coming up on my feed. So many women receiving so little help. So many women who were told false and insensitive medical advice. So many women hiding in the shadows because they are embarrassed about their condition. So many women getting fired because they took too many “sick days” and they couldn’t find a way to tell their boss or HR representative about their pain. So many women with major anxiety about dating. So many women getting dumped, cheated on, or divorced. So much pain. So, so much pain.

There is no reason for this post, other than to give a snapshot of what approximately 16% of women experience in their lifetime.