Vulvodynia Specialist

Michelle Starke, MD

Gynecologist & Functional Medicine Specialist located in Coral Gables, FL

When your vulvar area often feels painful, uncomfortable, or itchy, you may have a chronic pain condition called vulvodynia. By offering gentle and supportive therapies, expert gynecologist Dr. Michelle Starke in Coral Gables, Florida helps you find relief from vulvar pain and restore your sex life. If you have vulvodynia, set up a consultation with Dr. Starke at The Center for Gynecology & Restorative Medicine by using the helpful online form or by calling her friendly staff.

Vulvodynia Q & A

What is vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia is a condition marked by chronic or intermittent pain or discomfort in your vulvar region that persists for at least three months. Your vulva consists of the external sex organs that surround your vagina, such as the clitoris and the labia majora and minora.  

Although vulvodynia is common, many women feel embarrassed about sharing their symptoms with their gynecologist. Untreated vulvodynia may:

  • Disrupt your sex life
  • Make sitting uncomfortable
  • Lead to depression and anxiety
  • Alter your body image
  • Impact your quality of life

What are the symptoms of vulvodynia?

Vulvodynia has a range of symptoms. Infections or other serious medical conditions share some of its symptoms, which is why you should get an evaluation and diagnosis from Dr. Starke.

Contact Dr. Starke if you notice these symptoms around your vulva:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Rawness
  • Stinging
  • Aching
  • Painful sex

What causes vulvodynia?

When Dr. Starke evaluates you for vulvodynia, she first rules out other conditions that may share the same symptoms, such as infections and skin disorders.

The underlying cause of vulvodynia varies from woman to woman. Dr. Starke takes a careful medical history to determine if genetics, nerve damage, or food sensitivities could have caused your vulvodynia.

She then examines your pelvic floor muscles to determine if they’re contributing to your pain. Other conditions in nearby organs or tissues may be radiating pain to your vulvar region. Your pain may also be a response to a prior infection.

How do gynecologists treat vulvodynia?

If Dr. Starke diagnoses vulvodynia, she custom-designs a treatment plan based on your symptoms as well as the underlying causes of your pain and discomfort.  

Therapies she may recommend include:

  • Bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT)
  • Trigger-point massage or injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Pelvic-floor muscle training
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Steroids and other medications
  • Biofeedback
  • Botox

Your condition may also improve with cutting-edge therapies, such as MonaLisa Touch® laser rejuvenation. If you have a type of vulvodynia called vestibular vulvodynia, which affects the opening of your vagina, and if you don’t respond to less invasive therapies, Dr. Starke may recommend surgery.

Vulvodynia is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing you need to suffer through. Contact Dr. Starke for a consultation by booking an appointment online or calling the office.