Study: Persistent Yeast Infections Can Trigger Chronic Vaginal Pain

The mouse vagina: in red are nerve fibers in a state of hypersensitivity after exposure to several yeast infections.

Melissa Farmer, a pain researcher at McGill University, reports in a new paper that persistent yeast infections in mice can lead to chronic vaginal pain, in fact, the same type of pain that human females experience when suffering from a condition known as vulvodynia, chronic pain of the vulva.

Up to 14 million women in the U.S. have vulvodynia at some point in their lives, according to The National Institutes of Health. Characterized by a burning, cutting or raw sensation in response to light touch or intercourse, the condition often goes undiagnosed.

Farmer simulated a vulvodynia-like state in mice by exposing them to a series of three yeast infections.  (Specifically, she put the mice to sleep and then pipetted 20 microliters of yeast in saline solution into their vaginal cavities to induce a severe infection. Continue reading