Vulvodynia is pain that develops in the structures of the external genitalia of the female. Typically this includes the labia and clitoris, but the lower vagina and perineum may also be involved. A recent study revealed that this condition occurs in roughly 16% of women. Like that of superficial dyspareunia, pain in the vulvar region may be caused by a local infectious or inflammatory process or sexually transmitted disease. However, in the PPOD syndrome patient vulvodynia is usually caused by the same underlying neurologic dysfunction causing sensory fiber hypersensitivity that is responsible for the production of superficial dyspareunia, and, not surprisingly, most PPOD syndrome patients with vulvodynia report experiencing superficial dyspareunia as an accompanying symptom. There are two general classifications of vulvodynia, dysesthetic vulvodynia and vestibulodynia (previously called vulvar vestibulitis).
In PPOD syndrome patients the vulvodynia type that occurs most often is the so-called dysesthetic vulvodynia, where burning or sharp pain is felt throughout most of the labia and clitoris and sometimes extends into the lower vagina and perineum. If the condition is not severe, touch of the genitalia may not be particularly painful. However, if severe, there can be extreme pain and hypersensitivity to even mild touch or contact of any type.
In some cases however, the vestibulodynia type of vulvodynia prevails in PPOD syndrome patient. In these cases, rather than pain being experienced throughout the genitalia, it tends to be more localized to the tissues immediately surrounding the vaginal opening and there may be accompanying inflammation and redness. When present as an accompanying symptom of the PPOD syndrome both types of vulvodynia typically respond extremely well to the PPOD therapeutic protocols. See case reports 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 16 to see the response of vulvodynia to PPOD syndrome treatment.