Vulvodynia: A Symptom Not a Disease

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Vulvodynia: A Symptom Not a Disease

Sponsored Press Release, January 28, 2019 ~ Vulvar pain beginning after implantation of a TVM device should never be diagnosed as vulvodynia because every device has the potential to cause chronic pain.

SANTA BARBARA, CA, UNITED STATES, January 28, 2019 / — The International Society for the Study of Vulvar Diseases defines vulvodynia as chronic pain or discomfort involving the vulva for more than 3 months and for which no obvious etiology can be found. In other words, patients with vulvar pain, in whom there is not ‘caused’ by a recognized disorder, are diagnosed with vulvodynia.

Vulvar pain beginning after implantation of a transvaginal polypropylene mesh (TVM) device should never be diagnosed as vulvodynia because every polypropylene transvaginal device has the potential to cause chronic pelvic pain. Despite billions of dollars paid to injured women by the manufacturers of the TVM devices, thousands of retropubic and transobturator sling devices are implanted each year, that cause chronic pelvic pain, and in a significant portion of these women cause Complex Regional Pain Syndrome1, which is a disabling catastrophic pain syndrome that impairs mobility, sexual function, bladder function, and bowel function.

Vulvodynia, although not a diagnosis to be used in women with pain and a history of a TVM device, may be used as a symptom as this term provides a description of pain. Vulvodynia describes a quality of pain that may be burning, stinging, irritation, itching, or rawness. It is usually moderate to severe, exacerbated by sex, tight-fitting clothing, sitting, walking, bike riding, and tampon insertion.

Vulvodynia when used to describe a set of symptoms by a gynecologist would be described as allodynia involving the vulva. Allodynia is the hallmark of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Women with retropubic and transobturator (TO) polypropylene slings are developing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in the hundreds each year and this diagnosis requires 1-2 million dollars in medical care over a lifetime.

CRPS Type 1 diagnosis is caused by retropubic TVT slings and CRPS Type 2 diagnosis with pudendal or obturator neuralgia is caused by TO slings and are implanted in thousands of women without warning of these complications. There are non-polypropylene surgical options for the treatment of SUI without these life altering complications with equal efficacy to the polypropylene slings that are not being offered to women.

For more information on the treatment for pudendal neuralgia 2, CRPS, and myofascial pain from the TVM go to: and

Download a Free E-book by Dr. Hibner/Dr. Vigna for more information,, and visit the video resources page here:

Dr. Greg Vigna is a practicing attorney and physician. Having trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor University in Houston, with 15 years of experience taking care of patients with catastrophic injuries, I am now a practicing attorney dedicated to patient advocacy and ensuring that my clients receive the gold standard in medical care and just compensation for their injuries. Phone: 800-761-9206
By |2019-01-30T17:10:39-05:00January 30th, 2019|Medical News|3 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Jane Akre January 30, 2019 at 5:08 pm - Reply
  2. Still Standing February 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Dr. Vigna, Im interested in the scienfic research on CRPS and mesh. I know that people who have CRPS have a high incidence of pelvic dysfunction but my understanding is this is secondary to CRPS that primarily involves hyper sensitization of a limb through a trauma of some kind. What research connects mesh to this particuar process? And, since there are no definitive tests for CRPS, how do you determine this diagnosis since CRPS is considered a rare disorder? It is an interesing theory and I would like too know more about it. I have read your recent press articles. While there are validated interventions for limb CRPS, how do you treat it if it is the entire pelvic area that is impacted? How does it differ in treatment from hypertonic pelvic floor?

  3. greg vigna February 14, 2019 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Great questions! CRPS-2 is simply a neuralgia. Neuralgia pain is in a clear distribution of a nerve and is characterized by spontaneous pain that occurs with no movement or Allodynia. Trigeminal neuralgia/pudendal neuralgia/obturator neuralgia…all produce the same type of pain. CRPS-1 is simply RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) which occurs from soft tissue trauma. Produces the same type of pain as CRPS-2 but isn’t in the distribution of a nerve. One of the hypothesis related to the occurrence of CRPS-1 is that it is related to tissue hypoxia and you would expect that at the foreign body/viable tissue interface that is the basis of biofilm. Hypertonic pelvic floor or Spastic Pelvic Floor Syndrome can be from soft tissue irritation/nerve irritation with or without CRPS-1 or CRPS-2.

    Treatment for CRPS 1-2 goes to the concept of functional restoration via timely nerve blocks, botox, physical therapy, exercise, stimulators, etc. Blocking pain and stretching /exercise with the hopes of restoring function mobility and rebooting the peripheral and central nervous system to prevent spontaneous pain. Does treatment help yes! Does treatment cure…well not likely. Certainly there are fortune women who have nearly complete pain relief with complete mesh removal…those are the good outcomes. Those that are left with CRPS need long-term treatment.

    Those with Spastic Pelvic Floor Syndrome need to understand that that is an end diagnosis that doesn’t delineate the primary pain generator and can potentially make specific causation a problem on the expert reports going forward. Women with the diagnosis of pudendal neuralgia or obturator neuralgia from the TO devices don’t have that problem. Understand, however, RSD. or CRPS-1 from a retropubic sling is exceptionally bad diagnosis as well but certainly can be explained by the mechanisms discussed above and by future specific causation reports.

    I hope that helps. GVMDJD

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