Dr. Goldstein explains if all sexual pains a woman experiences are referred to as vulvodynia.
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Sexual Pains and Vulvodynia Vulvodynia is a broad term. There are more specific terms; there can be disorders of the vulva. The vulva is the anatomic location from say the thigh skin to the labia majora and including the outside of the labia minora; from the labia minora, or at least half of the inside part of the labia minora, to the hymen – that’s the vestibule, and from the hymen in is the vagina. So there can be many different locations of sexual pain but if it can be localized to the vestibule for example, vestibulodynia would be a more important term. The importance of vulvodynia as a term as we are starting to understand the anatomy, the vulva is basically derived from skin; the vagina is derived from the Mullerian duct, but this third embryologic type, which is the tissue from the inside of the labia minora to the hymen is the vestibule. That’s actually derived from the urinary system and it’s a tissue that does not respond well to injury. It’s just a U-shaped piece of tissue that’s maybe a centimeter wide and it’s U-shaped and it causes huge pain and discomfort to women. So the vestibule, which is embryologically from the urinary system, is actually the cause of many women’s vulvodynia.
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