Sex is supposed to be enjoyable, but for countless women suffering from vulvodynia, that’s not the case. Characterized by pain or discomfort with sexual intercourse, rawness, stinging, itching and burning in the vagina or vulva, vulvodynia is a common condition, but it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
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“The symptoms of vulvodynia mimic those of other, common vulvovaginal infections,” explains Christin Veasley, associate executive director of the National Vulvodynia Association in Silver Spring, Md. “Women are routinely and incorrectly told that they have a yeast or bacterial infection over and over again.”
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Vulvodynia sounds awful, both uncomfortable on the body and ear. And ‘vulvovaginal’ may be one of the worst combinations of words possible. According to Gloria Steinem, most people misuse the word ‘vagina.’ They mean ‘vulva.’ Does Vajayjay-dynia sound better? Do we have Oprah/ Tyra Banks/ Joel McHale to thank for this slight improvement? Is vajayjay-dynia (or lady business-dynia) going to be the new Restless Legs Syndrome? As in a problem that everyone is pretty sure they have, but is borderline impossible to diagnose? Is it going to be the ‘headache’ of the modern era? Honestly, how many men are going to argue with “I can’t tonight. I think I got the ‘vulvodynia’”? After arguing that there is no such thing, he will go to the interweb and be schooled. At that point, all he’ll be thinking about is not getting the vulvodynia on his person, not realizing that it’s not technically communicable.