Can Vulvodynia Cause Bladder Problems?

Vulvodynia is a complicated disorder that is often misdiagnosed because so little is known about it.  However, doctors have observed that many women with vulvodynia often have bladder issues such as urinary urgency or painful urination.  But can vulvodynia cause bladder problems?

What Is Vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia refers to chronic, unexplained pain around the opening of the vagina, which has no identifiable cause.  The pain is often described as searing, burning, throbbing, or stabbing.  

Vulvodynia pain may affect different parts of the vulva (generalized vulvodynia) or it may occur at a specific spot when pressure is applied (localized vulvodynia).  

Other symptoms of vulvodynia include burning, stinging, and rawness.  

Can Vulvodynia Cause Bladder Problems?

Women with vulvodynia sometimes have bladder problems such as urinary urgency, because both conditions are caused by the same underlying etiology, which is an altered vaginal microflora pattern

An altered vaginal microflora pattern is one that differs from the normal vaginal ecosystem.   

The vaginal ecosystem consists of more than 30 strains of bacteria but is normally dominated by the ‘good’ bacteria.  However, if there is a change in the bacterial milieu, it can lead to an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria.  

The vaginal secretions that spring from the altered flora patterns bathe the tissues at the opening of the vagina (vestibule).  The secretions stimulate the vestibular tissue and produce different symptoms including pain, discharge, and urinary urgency.   

Treating Vulvodynia

Restoring balance to the vaginal microflora will relieve vulvodynia pain, as well as other symptoms of an altered vaginal microflora.  Treatment typically involves medication along with a system of hypocontactant skincare products. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of vulvodynia, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis.  Contact the experts in vulvovaginal health at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ, for a consultation.  

You can reach them at, or by calling (480) 420-4001.  

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