What is Vestibulitis?

Vestibulitis, or Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS), is a condition in which pain is felt in the vestibular area, which is the few centimetres surrounding the vaginal entrance.


Vulvar Vestibule

The Vulva with the vestibule highlighted in yellow

The pain is caused by extra sensitivity of this generally extremely sensitive area. Whereas usually, a woman will feel pleasure when this area is gently touched, a woman with vestibulitis will feel pain when any pressure is applied here. This means that sexual touch can be unpleasant for her, as is wearing a tampon or having an examination.

The vestibular area includes the bartholins glands, which produce natural lubrication, the urethra through which we urinate and the vestibular glands, also involved in lubrication.

When Vestibulitis is Mistaken

Women who approach their physicians complaining of pain during sex or sensitivity to touch are often treated for thrush. However, a careful doctor can easily distinguish between the two because vestibulitis does not itch (which thrush does) and it does not leave the white tell-tale signs of yeast infection.

A pelvic examination of the may reveal redness and tenderness to touch, but the appearances can be difficult to see, and it is therefore often overlooked until the complaints are repeated.

What can be done about vestibulitis?




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