Aunt Vadge: dry humping has triggered vulvodynia – why?

Hello Aunt Vadge,

I was diagnosed with localized vulvodynia two months ago. Me and my boyfriend were dry humping when the severe pain started, and since then my pain won’t go away. I blame myself and him for all this pain, because I haven’t had one second without it. I felt his penis and I was still wearing my underwear.

Can his penis injure a nerve or the friction caused by dry sex cause this condition? I read that vulvodynia may be caused by an injured nerve.

Thank you,

Injured

Dear Injured,

Vulvodynia is one of life’s great mysteries. I am very sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with this terrible, painful condition – at the moment, there is no cure, only management of the pain, and you must go on your own journey to try to find the solution. It is not going to be easy, but it is a job that must be done.

It is most unlikely that your boyfriend’s penis has caused you nerve damage. You’d have to have done some seriously hard dry humping to get anywhere near nerve damage. It is much more likely that there was an underlying condition that has become ‘live’ after being triggered.

Stop blaming yourself and your boyfriend. This isn’t anyone’s fault. It can be easy to shunt the blame for our pain onto the trigger, but the trigger is not the cause. If you hadn’t dry humped that day, your body would have done this perhaps next time you used a tampon, or had masturbated, or wiped yourself after urinating. The trigger is not the important thing here, because it was more than likely going to happen anyway.

If you haven’t already, check out our vulvodynia page, and then get started on your hunt for the cause of your vulvodynia. Look up support groups now, see what everyone else is doing, and find yourself someone else with vulvodynia – or a few people – and make friends with them. This journey is not a fun one, and you will need emotional support, as well as physical help for the pain. Get your support network set up now, find out everything you can about your condition, and get it fixed.

Sorry we couldn’t be more help – vulvodynia is a real bitch, but lots of women have cured theirs, and you can too.

Warmest regards,

Aunt Vadge

 

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.