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Difference between vag and v.v. and vulvodynia

Briefly, vaginismus is when the vagina tightens up to not let something in which can be a dilator, vibrator, penis, tampon, and/or speculum.

Vulvar vestibulitis is when the vestibule of the vagina (kind of like the entrance) is chronically painful. Often it looks red but now always.

Vulvodynia means having pain around the vulva. Sometimes vulvodynia is used to refer to pain that is not just in the vestibule but around the whole vulva. In this usage, even the labia majora (where the pubic hair is) can be tender and painful. Sometimes these folks are diagnosed with just vulvodynia or vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis. In this sense, vulvar vestibulitis can be seen as a subset of vulvodynia.

However some people just use the terms interchangably.

To make it even more confusing v.v./vulvodynia can cause vaginismus. If you have pain whenever something goes in, your vagina learns to try to protect itself by tightening up which can make putting something in impossible or possible but even more painful.


you explained very clearly what is a very confusing difference for women with vag or with v.v.

would you mind if i used what you explained to have an article in the ?

i think it'd be more helpful than a bunch of more medical explanation.

no problem

Sure... feel free to use it however you want.

This is kind of embarassing, I have never really felt comfortable discussing this with my doctors.  I was brought up that you did not touch yourself "down there" for any reason other than wiping or changing a pad (douching and tampons were out of the question!).  So I don't even have the words to describe this but I have been reading descriptions and looking at pictures.

What it is, is that there is a sore spot at the opening of my vagina, the bottom part, towards the anus (does this make sense?).  It's on the outside.  I don't know if its the hymen or something else.  If I leave that area alone and don't try to put anything in my vagina it is fine.  But if I (or anyone else) tries to put something in my vagina and they hit that spot, Lord have mercy, it is all over.  Now, I can, if I am very careful, ease my finger past that sore spot and enter my vagina (I feel very very guilty doing this).  Because I know where it is.  But others do not.  The first time I attempted to have a Pap test the doctor hit that spot.  Wisely he decided to break off doing the test.  But he did not say anything about it being normal or abnormal or anything like that.  But I see from some of the things said in this forum that it is not normal and that it does have a name and that I am not the only one who has this.  So that is a relief of sorts I guess.  But I don't know what to call it or how to talk to the doctor.

Also when I put my finger in my vagina, I can feel a balloon-like structure slightly protruding through the front wall.  I assume it is my bladder.  Is this normal?  I feel so foolish asking these questions . . .

Sweet Tamal,

I hope someone else with VV can help you figure out if what you have
may be vestibulitis or what not  but I just had to comment on
your sense of guilt for exploring your own body.

It saddens me to think you were made to feel this way about you.

I have known that kind of shame, it was terrible living with it.

It's quite ironic that it is taught to girls that it is ok if a MAN
puts his finger in OUR vagina but that it is SHAMEFUL
if we  try it too or if we do it even for medical reasons.

It just makes NO sense whatsoever.

It  assumes that men (doctors too) WILL know how to touch us there and clearly, often they Don' T.

We have to guide them but how can we if we dont know our own body well?

see what i mean?

it makes perfect sense to explore ourselves there..
it's just another part of the body really.

Anyway, I really hope that it will be healing to start sharing your questions with us here.

it should be.

Now as for the actual question,  i can't really say cause i dont have VV
but  if it doesn't hurt you except  when you  touch  that particular spot,

it may just be the pain that the muscles produce when stretching
while you (or anyone) tries to get past it.

Now, in order to find out if that's the case,  you'd have to try something if you feel like it.

You may want to try inserting a finger many many times in a row.
The first few times you may still feel that pain but after a while,
it should be gone.

however, that's just an idea..

usually with VV and vulvodynia it hurts even when you don't touch the area.  Just going to the loo would be a problem or being caressed around there.

So i have a feeling yours is pure untrained muscles causing the problem.

Anyway, let's see what others say or what the experiment yields if you try it.

good on you for sharing.....
i really admire your strength .


Hey Tamal

I know what you mean about the sore spot.  I've found the best way to avoid it is to follow the line of my pubic bone, sort of pressing against that rather than just poking fingers in randomly!!  I'm not sure what it is either - its definitely not my hymen (that's long gone due to a non-too-gentle internal exam) but its at the bottom of my vagina, near my anus, but its not the perineum either (the bit of skin between your anus and vagina) but its sort of on the inside of that.  And, like you, I don't even notice it when I'm not putting anything in there.

As for the balloon-like structure....Does it feel a bit ridgy and bumpy?  Is it about where your fingertip is?  If so, that sounds like your 'g' spot Wink And yes, its normal.

Please don't feel foolish for asking these never know, someone else may be soooo glad you're asking a question that they daren't.

Don't feel bad or guilty for exploring and getting to know your own body either.  

Good luck.


Oh, PS.  Its good that you have a considerate doctor.  Stick with him!!

Thanks, everybody, for being so encouraging.  I think I will have to try using lubricant and see if that works.  The sore spot may be my hymen, I don't know.  Next time I see my doctor I think I will ask her.  It feels kind of membrane-y, so it might be needing stretching.  

When I put my finger inside myself it feels like a U with the ends pointing towards the front and the bottom of the U at the back.  It feels kind of smooth but everything is rather tight.  In contrast my anal passage is like an O.  Again, I don't know if this is normal but from what you say it probably is.

It is so hard to overcome years of conditioning, intellectually I can say that is no different from any other part of my body but emotionally and mentally I am not there yet.  The fact that I have had one successful Pap test says that there is hope.  I just need to get used to handling that part of my body and telling her that it is ok to be touched.


Hi Tamal,

I have heard of women with VV describing being sore in that same spot you mention. So I think it's possible that you might have it.

There is a good book called "The V Book" that I think every woman should have. It describes all these different conditions in detail.

If you were able to help that sore spot to hurt less, maybe it would help with dilating in the future.

I would guess that the balloon-like structure slightly protruding through the front wall would be a large paraurethral gland. Your bladder is way far back near the end of your vagina, if I recall correctly. It is safe to assume that any lumps or bumps you come across in your vagina are normal. People differ in the configuration of those lumps and bumps and protrusions.

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