Painkillers for when your vagina is in killer pain

Sometimes you may wish to use pain killers to quell pain from surgery, growths, pain conditions or another cause.

If the pain is severe you are likely to need something stronger than you can get over the counter, so see your physician.

Here we have a collection of some alternative options for pain relief, including herbal, physical therapy and pharmaceutical methods for relieving low-to-moderate pain in your vagina, vulva or other nearby pelvic areas.

Safety of painkillers

  • Do not put any topical painkillers inside the vagina, though they may be suitable for the vulva, unless directed by your healthcare provider.
  • If you are suffering from cancer, check with your doctor as to whether massage is appropriate for you, though it is often contraindicated as it can spread cancer cells throughout the lymphatic system.

We have provided as much accurate information as possible, but don’t take our word for it: if you are unsure if these treatments are safe for you to use (e.g. during pregnancy, in combination with other medications or in children) speak to your healthcare professional.

Just because a substance comes from a plant doesn’t make it safe. Talk to your local herbalist or naturopath for help if you aren’t sure.

Physical therapies that can offer pain relief


Reflexology uses pressure points on the feet, hands and ears to effect physiological changes in the body. If you have pain, it is an excellent way to ease it. There is almost nothing that won’t be positively affected in some way by reflexology.

You can do this yourself at home, or see a trained therapist, however a trained therapist is recommended at first so you understand what is possible, then you can self-administer as necessary.


Acupuncture is great for many conditions, particularly chronic pain in any area. Acupuncture is administered by a qualified professional.


Massage doesn’t mean just your shoulders or back; massage can be useful for many conditions. Although this does not mean a ‘vagina massage‘ (which is a thing and you should have it done one day!), a skilled professional therapist can improve blood flow, relieve pressure and relax the rest of you. Pain can be stressful.


Osteopathy can help to correct structural issues that involve musculature, bones, ligaments and other tissue that has become displaced, too tight or too loose. Great for after birth.

Pelvic physiotherapy A pelvic physiotherapist can offer relief from many painful vagina or vulva conditions, using special techniques to release tight muscles, pinched nerves, and loosen you up to relieve pain.

Pharmaceutical analgesics

  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol/Tylenol
  • Stronger, prescription-only analgesics are not covered in this article, as they are not available to you without a prescription. See your doctor.

Herbal analgesics by traditional use

It’s best to see a qualified, trained herbalist before using herbal analgesics to ensure they are safe for you, and will be the most effective in your circumstances. This is a basic list of commonly used herbal analgesics. Do not use topically or orally without clear instructions from a reliable source.

  • Turmeric (Curcurmin longa)
  • Pasque flower (Anemone pulsatilla + Pulsatilla vulgaris) Do not use in pregnancy or lactation
  • Arnica (Arnica montana) External use only, safe for pregnancy and lactation
  • Corydalis (Corydalis ambigua) Do not use in pregnancy
  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) Caution in peptic ulcer
  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Caution with thyroid hormones and barbiturates
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
  • Willow Bark (Salix alba + S. daphnoides + S. purpurea + S. fragilis) Do not use if lactating, on anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs
  • Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum + Eugenia caryophyllus) Caution in reflux
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Caution in pregnancy (Do not use high doses over 5g), with anticoagulants, antiplatelets, peptic ulcers
  • Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia erythrina) Do not use in pregnancy or lactation or with cardiac problems
  • Kava (Piper methysticum) Do not use in pregnancy or lactation, caution in liver disease if using alcoholic tincture

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist 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)