Physical or Sexual Trauma
One of the most common causes of vulvar pain is physical or sexual trauma. Physical trauma, such as when an object penetrates the skin of the vulva, can cause pain and even injury to the vulvar tissues. It’s important to know that not all vulvar pain is related to trauma, but this symptom might mean something more serious is going on. Genital warts are sexually transmitted diseases that cause swelling, pain, and general discomfort. Bacterial infections like bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis also cause painful symptoms like itching and burning that can be mistaken for non-pathogenic causes of vulvar pain. If you experience any unusual vulvar symptoms after sexual activity, you should seek medical attention immediately to avoid complications that might arise.
If you have experienced sexual trauma, including rape, you may have developed vaginismus or another condition that makes vaginal penetration very painful. Because we are often uncomfortable talking about sexual trauma and its consequence, many people with these conditions go undiagnosed for years. If you experience pain during sexual intercourse, see a doctor who can perform an exam and order appropriate tests to rule out infections or other medical problems.