The term vulvodynia means pain or discomfort at the entranceway to the vagina.

The vulva is the external genitalia in women. The skin of the vulva can be quite sensitive. Because it is moist and frequently subjected to friction while sitting and moving, this area can be easily irritated.

Characteristics of Vulvodynia may vary from one woman to the next, what is very certain is that there is usually pain and possible burning of the vulva. The level of pain can change from mild to severe.

What causes vulvodynia?

Western medicine is still uncertain as to the cause of vulvodynia. One theory is that vulvodynia can be caused by oxalates.

Oxalate is an organic chemical that is found in many foods, especially those of plant origin. It is also a by-product of some metabolic processes in the body.

Oxalates (in the blood in the form of free oxalic acid) are ordinarily filtered by the kidneys into the urine, and eliminated from the body. If the kidneys do not filter fast enough, oxalates can form crystals that develop into painful kidney stones.

If the concentration of oxalates in the urine is too high, microscopic crystals can form in the bladder. Some cases of vulvodynia have been linked to microscopic oxalate crystals that irritate the nerves in the urethra.

Which foods are high in Oxalate?

The most problematic foods are nuts; citrus fruits; wheat products; tea; cocoa products; spices such as ginger, pepper, and cinnamon; soy and peanut products; and tomatoes. For a complete and detailed list on foods that are low, moderate or high in oxalates, please follow this link.

How can Chinese Medicine help?

From the Eastern point of view, the root cause behind this condition may vary from one woman to the next, so differential diagnosis is essential for each woman. Two women with the same diagnosis may have completely different dis-harmonies, so treatment is very unique to the patient’s personal body care.

Once we come up with a diagnosis we will recommend a series of acupuncture treatments and more than likely a course of herbal remedies to help your body come back to a healthy balance.

Do I have to live with this pain forever?

Definitely not!!! Here are some tips and resources:

* Take “moon baths” and allow the Yin energy of the moon to nourish your whole body!

* Take a good probiotic.  I recommend those that help maintain a healthy vaginal microflora and support urogenital health.  I like Ultraflora Women’s by Metagenics or Femdophilus by Jarrow

* Explore Acupuncture and Herbal medicine to restore balance.

* Follow a low oxalate diet for at least one month. Click here for low oxalate foods recipes!.

Would you like to search for specific foods on a pdf chart?. Please, click here

* Explore with Calcium Citrate supplements, which work by increasing the solubility of oxalates in the urine. This article may help you asses whether this approach is the right one for you.

* Follow these Self-Care practices recommendations which may help you reduce pain and inflammation.

* ALWAYS follow your own inner guidance to make the healthiest choices for your Body and Soul!

I wish you an inspiring and powerful journey!

Yamin Chehin L.Ac, Dipl O.M


– The Vulvar Pain Foundation

– Vulvodynia, Oxalates, and Diet by J. Byron for

– The low Oxalate Diet. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

– Seek Wellness.

– The home of the Oxalate Diet: