Botox® has been used off-label to treat several non-cosmetic medical issues, migraines being the most popular. And now, evidence is piling up that it could be used to treat another type of chronic pain: vulvodynia, or sexual pain in women.
Vulvodynia affects about 16 percent of women. It is characterized by chronic pain in the genital region brought on by sex or tampon insertion. Because so little is known about vulvodynia, it is generally diagnosed by exclusion; that is, it is usually the diagnosis made for specific genital pain that isn’t otherwise diagnosed by a blood test, biopsy, or STI screening.
Though Botox® hasn’t been proven to work for every woman suffering from vulvodynia, several patients of renowned dermatologists have found that it eases–and in some cases, eliminates–the pain. The cause is unknown, but experts guess that the Botox® injection blocks the nerve endings from transmitting pain signals, in the same way Botox® typically blocks neurotransmitters from traveling across nerves to facial muscles.
Though Botox® is not an FDA-approved treatment for vulvodynia yet, it is clear that it relieves genital pain in some women. If you’re interested in using Botox® to relieve non-cosmetic pain, contact Dr. Zimmet to schedule an appointment.