Symptoms of Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome

Symptoms of Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS): VVS has two components : physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. Some of the common physical symptoms are:

  • painful intercourse
  • burning
  • itching
  • discharge
  • pain in the vulva without any contact
  • rawness
  • redness
  • aching
  • pain with urination

The symptoms often vary from woman to woman and a woman often will not have all of these symptoms. However, if you have VVS, you likely have at least a few of them. There are also psychological symptoms that women with Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome may experience. They include:

  • frustration
  • anxiety
  • depression

Many women have difficulty getting diagnosed with VVS which leads to a great deal of frustration. Some woman are even told that there is nothing physically wrong with them and that they just need to learn to relax. Many doctors are still becoming familiar with the diagnosis and other doctors are not aware of it. Another frustration that women encounter is with treatment strategies once they find a doctor who can help them. Treatment is often very much a trial and error process and it also about finding a good combination. Not every woman responds to the same type of treatment.

Depression and anxiety are also very much a part of the psychological symptoms. These emotional issues are very common when dealing with chronic pain. Women can often feel hopeless and anxious about whether or not the physical symptoms will ever get any better. There is also anxiety about the pain and what kinds of activities will cause pain. VVS usually impacts a woman’s sex life and feeling about herself as a sexual being. Pain with intercourse is often not the only sexual issue. Women often feel anxious about how VVS affects their sex lives and the stress that it often puts on intimate relationships. Women report that they experience a decreased interest in sex and decreased confidence in themselves as a sexual person and a sexual partner. Women may also feel less desirable, feel unhappy about their bodies and feel unhappy about being a woman. Some women may just give up on sex all together and learn to deal without it. It is not uncommon to start avoiding any kind of sexual activity because sex becomes stressful and disappointing as opposed to enjoyable and pleasurable. Women may wonder if their partner will leave them or if they don’t have a partner if they will be able to find one.

VVS can cause a variety of physical, psychological, or sexual symptoms. While psychological and sex therapy cannot change the physical symptoms, it can help to minimize the emotional issues, maximizing your ability to deal with VVS .