Vulvodynia – Clifton Hill Physiotherapy

Clifton Hill Physiotherapy provide quality care for vulvodynia to the local areas of Clifton Hill, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Abbotsford, Northcote, Brunswick, Preston, Alphington, Fairfield, Thornbury and Carlton.

Vulvodynia (chronic vulval pain with an unidentifiable cause) is pain at the opening of the vagina, and is a common condition that is often poorly understood or misdiagnosed. It can be very distressing and can affect women of all ages. A recent US study (1) showed that 1 in 4 women experience chronic vulvar pain at some point in their lives.

Vulvodynia is characterized by pain near the vaginal opening and can include burning, itching, irritation or sharp pain. Symptoms vary in severity and location. Pelvic Floor Muscle spasm and over activity (poor relaxation) can co exist with these symptoms. Activities such as sex, tampon use, sitting, tight clothes and bike riding may aggravate and even be impossible for some women. It can be provoked or unprovoked pain and Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) is a subcategory of Vulvodynia.

Vulvodynia is commonly misdiagnosed as oestrogen deficiency or a yeast infection, and while it is important that these are eliminated, a correct diagnosis means help can be sought. Few women seek help and few are correctly diagnosed early.

Our Physiotherapists Jennifer Langford and Kiera Hannigan,  have undergone Post Graduate studies in pelvic floor rehabilitation at the University of Melbourne. Jennifer and Kiera have a special interest in helping women with vulvodynia and persistent pelvic pain and Jen has many years experience  working in a pain clinic. Along with providing appropriate treatment,our Physios  have a particular interest in a biopsychosocial approach to pain management and educating sufferers in the current concepts of pain science so that they understand and become good self managers of their pain.

Other types of pelvic pain that we treat include Dyspareunia, Vaginismus, VVS, chronic pelvic pain related to prostatitis and pelvic instability in pregnancy.


  1. Reed D., Harlow S., Sen A., et al. “Prevalence and demographic characteristics of vulvodynia in a population based sample” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol.206, issue 2 (170.e-170.e9) Feb 2012.