Vulvodynia is a condition characterized by chronic pain and discomfort in the vulva (the outside part that surrounds the opening of the vagina). It can be a debilitating condition, difficult to treat.
Shockwave therapy is a medical treatment that uses low-intensity shockwaves Li-ESWT, a type of acoustic wave) to penetrate tissue and promote healing and regeneration of blood vessels.
Shockwave therapy has been used in various medical conditions including musculoskeletal pain, chronic wounds, and erectile dysfunction. More recently, Low-intensity shockwave therapy has been shown in clinical studies to be a potential treatment option for vulvodynia!
Shockwave treatment may help to reduce inflammation and promote healing of damaged tissues in the vulva. During the procedure, a handheld device delivers low-intensity acoustic waves to the vulva, typically in a series of sessions over several weeks. Each session is done awake in the office and takes under 30 minutes to complete.
While the use of shockwave therapy for vulvodynia is still relatively new, initial studies have shown promising results. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that shockwave therapy was associated with significant reductions in pain and improved sexual function in women with provoked vestibulodynia, a type of vulvodynia characterized by pain with sexual activity or penetration.
Shockwave therapy is available at Down There Urology and may be recommended for individuals with vulvodynia who have not responded to other treatments.
- Stewart EG, Badger C, Seager S, et al. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for the Treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Sex Med. 2020;17(3):542-553.
- Bade M, Keller T, Ernstberger A, et al. Treatment of vulvodynia with shock wave therapy: a feasibility study. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2018;297(1):139-146.