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Veli-Jussi Jalkanen,
Sitting Health Expert

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18.08.2016

The connection between vulvodynia and sitting

Vulvodynia is a painful condition of the vulva. 6-13 % of women suffer from vulvodynia at some point in their lives. Sitting is a risk factor.

One of the clear and strong risk factor for vulvodynia is sitting. Sitting position and the soft padding of the chair cause pressure on the pelvic floor, and through it on the whole inner pelvic area. This will stop or reduce the fluid circulation (blood and lymph) in soft tissues, leading to all kinds of infections, ailments and diseases.

Normally, the blood flow brings white blood cells to kill bacteria and viruses to the infected area. When the flow is non-existent or slow this mechanism does not work and therefore infections can intensify.

The internal pelvic organs are inside the pelvic bowl, an area that equals about one litre of liquid. This area is very prone to disease – and provides living for a group of doctors, clinics and pharmaceutical factories. About 24 % of all women’s cancers occur this area.

Also, the vulva area ventilation is often poor due to multi-layered clothing and soft chair paddings. Bacteria thrive in these warm and humid conditions.

To avoid the problem one should use cool and loose clothing, and sit on a two-part saddle chair. The gap in the chair eliminates pressure on the pelvic floor. It’s even better if the chair has a swing mechanism, because it further increases the blood flow due to muscle activity.

It is also recommended to stand for 10-30 % of the total working time and to walk at least once per hour for at least 2-3 minutes. While walking one can talk on the phone, so productivity does not decrease.

Vulvodynia is caused by metabolic problems in the vulva area. Physiotherapists who are specialized in treating the pelvic floor have several alternative ways to relax, strengthen and balance the metabolic problems. Experts in acupuncture also treat successfully  pain, that might also be worth a try.