For the live-updated, interactive version of this infographic, click here.
A year ago, we published 7 surprisingly simple treatments for female pain. Vulvodynia (chronic vulvar/vaginal pain) was the first condition CureTogether started with back in 2008, because I live with it. I repeated the analysis today, and found 9 treatments that clearly stand out as most effective.
This chart is based on 1,617 women with vulvodynia who answered 8,434 quantitative questions in CureTogether surveys.
The top 9 most effective treatments for vulvodynia are:
1. Wear loose-fitting clothes
2. Physical therapy
4. No underwear
5. Trigger point therapy
6. Avoid sex (or just avoid penetration)
7. Clitoral distraction with vibrator or by hand
8. Myofascial release
9. Rinse with water after urination
Another new thing on this chart: NuvaRing was added as a treatment, and was rated to make vulvodynia much worse instead of better.
To navigate the graph above:
The top right quadrant shows the most popular and effective treatments (e.g. loose-fitting clothes, avoid sex), and the top left quadrant shows treatments that not many people have tried but that have above-average effectiveness, so they may be options to think about (e.g. trigger point therapy, oatmeal baths).
Treatments in the lower right quadrant are ones that lots of people have tried but that have below-average effectiveness (e.g. Lidocaine, antibiotics), and treatments in the lower left quadrant are reported as neither popular nor effective, so you may want to consider this when choosing a treatment (e.g. NuvaRing, Lanacane).
Where did this data come from? CureTogether members have been anonymously sharing symptoms and treatments for almost 3 years now. We analyzed and visualized the data into infographic form to make it more accessible. To thank everyone for their contributions, we’re releasing this result back to the community for free.
This is part of our regular series of research findings. Of course, with each of these findings, there is a potential bias in patient self-selection and recall. Every research study has some bias, so we present these findings as just what they are – patient-reported data – to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research. Stay tuned for more and please let us know in the comments below if this was helpful or interesting for you.
Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in vulvodynia. Thank you!