Thursday, November 18, 2010

Avoiding Vulvar Irritation

I want to share some tips that my PT told me on how to help avoid vulvar irritation.

Wear 100% cotton white underwear. Wash them in Woolite and double rinse in cold water. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Do NOT wear pantyhose or tight clothes.

Wash with only mild soap. Avoid all fragrances and deodorants. In severe cases, try spraying the vulva with clear luke warm water and pat dry after urination. Some women dry the vulva with a cool hair dryer. Tipping the pelvis slightly forward while urinating usually results in less contact of the urine on the skin of the vulva. Use white unscented toilet tissue.  Wash your hands before and after urination. Wash your hair with your head tipped back or forward over a sink or tub so that no shampoo or conditioners run off the vulvar area.

Avoid tampons if possible. If they must be used, be sure they do not contain fragrances or scents. Avoid switching brands frequently. Use all cotton menstrual pads. Change pads frequently to minimize moisture. Do NOT douche with anything.

Sexual contact
You and your partner should wash your hands before engaging in sexual interactions. Allergic reactions to contraceptive jellies, foams, creams and condoms may be a component of your condition. Patients often find that any cream or lotion with propylene glycol in it is irritating to the vulva.

Comfort measures and other suggestions
Avoid bike riding. Some people find ice to the vulva is helpful in decreasing the pain. Others find that warm baths or compresses help. Try to avoid extremes of temperature in either direction. Daily walks and staying generally active have been helpful to many patients. Deep breathing and relaxation also helps many patients to cope with the pain as well as to decrease its occurrence. If you experience vulvar pain, try applying candula cream.

Eat a healthy diet to avoid possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies especially Vitamin B6., Zinc, Magnesium, and Iron. Eat a low-Oxalate diet. A low acidic and high alkaline diet can make a huge difference. Drink lots of water. Preferably mineral water since it is high alkaline.

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