As many as 28% of women around the world suffer from vulvodynia. If you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot,” you are correct. That’s almost a third of women suffering from vulvodynia, or 14% out of the total population globally. Now, if you’re thinking, “What on Earth is vulvodynia, and why haven’t I heard about it before if so many people are affected by it?”, those are also some valid questions. Before I get into the details of what exactly it is, I’d like to share a story to introduce vulvodynia to you. In the summer of 2012, a woman named Céline began to suffer from a prolonged vaginal yeast infection that would return over and over and over again. During this time, a burning pain developed in her vulva that grew increasingly worse. She tried numerous creams and pills for her yeast infection, but they didn’t help; if anything, they made it worse, and made the pain worse as well. It developed to the point where Céline couldn’t work for more than a minute without a “burning knife-like pain,” which stopped her from doing many activities, and she even stopped wearing underwear, as it hurt too much. Céline suffered for years, crying often and not knowing how she could live with such pain, with no doctor able to help her.
Until finally, four years since the burning pain began she was diagnosed with generalized vulvodynia. Her fight with chronic pain, however, was not yet over. It took some time for Céline and her doctors to figure out how to alleviate her pain until they