Dr. Allyson Shrikhande is a board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist. She is Chief Medical Officer of Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine. She is also the Chair of the Medical Education Committee for the International Pelvic Pain Society. Dr. Shrikhande is passionate about endometriosis and pelvic pain . She is dedicated to helping those who suffer and has traveled the world teaching gynecologists, urologists, physiatrists, and interventional pain specialists about pelvic pain. Endometriosis Summit Founding Faculty, Dr. Shrikhande will analyze causes of pain in our Pelvic Pain Panel at our Second Annual Town Meeting on March 1, 2020.
Vulvodynia means simply pain in the vulvar area. Frustrating for many patients, as it is more of a description of symptoms rather than an explanation of the underlying cause and pathophysiology. There are numerous underlying
Contributing factors to vulvodynia including hormonal influences, recurrent infections and neuromuscular influences. The connection between vulvodynia and Endometriosis is through neurogenic inflammation around the pudendal nerve. The pudendal nerve innervates the lower two thirds of the vulva. Therefore, if the pudendal nerve is irritated and inflamed vulvodynia can occur.
Endometriosis can contribute to neurogenic inflammation around the pudendal nerve in three ways; 1) Endometriosis can cause a chronic guarding of the pelvic floor musculature and ultimately a neural ischemia around the pudendal nerve 2) Endometriosis in and of itself is a pro-inflammatory disease contributing to the pro-inflammatory cytokines release around the pudenda nerves 3) direct innervation of the endometriosis plaques along pudendal nerve (less common). Persistent neurogenic inflammation along the pudendal nerve which innervates the lower two thirds of the vulva can ultimately lead to vulvodynia symptoms. Perhaps as a community we should think of Endometriosis more often in the refractory vulvodynia patients?
Tickets for the Endometriosis Summit are on sale