Warm or cold? What’s best for your vulva?

Warm or cold? What’s best for your vulva?

When it comes to vaginal discomfort, your vulva can experience pain and tenderness, as well as dryness and itchiness. I would like you to think of your vagina as a bellwether for what's going on with your body, either from discomfort that originates in the vulvovaginal area or from referred pain.

When your vaginal health is out of balance, it can feel all-consuming in your daily life while you try to find the root of the problem. Sometimes, the issues are due to an unbalanced vaginal pH, an infection, or deeper underlying medical conditions known to cause discomfort or pain. Working with your medical care provider can help you navigate your symptoms.

Remember:  “Vulva" refers to the external genitalia, while "vagina" refers to the internal canal. However, most people don't realize there two different body parts and group it together.


Below is a table to help you understand what temperature to use for managing your vulva’s symptoms.


Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is frequently recommended helps to reduce blood flow, which in turn decreases swelling and discomfort. The action of reducing blood flow to painful areas is called vasoconstriction.

Cold therapy can be beneficial for:

Heat therapy, also known as thermal therapy, is clinically proven to relieve perineal pain associated with muscle tension, stress and increase blood flow.  The action of increasing blood flow is called vasodilation.

Heat therapy can be beneficial for:

Reducing Inflammation: Cold therapy can help decrease swelling and inflammation, which may be beneficial for conditions such as vulvitis or vulvodynia or after being on a hard bike seat like spinning or horseback riding. 

Numbing Sensation: Cold temperatures can temporarily numb the nerves in the vulvar region, which may help alleviate pain or discomfort, especially for conditions involving nerve sensitivity or burns. A cold Private Pack is useful after intercourse or after shaving, as well as after hair removal treatments such as waxing, laser, or electrolysis.

Postpartum Recovery: Cold therapy can be used to ease discomfort and swelling in the vulvar area following vaginal childbirth, episiotomy, or perineal tears. For those of you who experience pain before the baby comes, such as cheeseburger crotch or lightning crotch, yes, those are real pains and can occur before the baby arrives.

Relief from Irritation: For conditions like contact dermatitis or allergic reactions that cause itching or burning in the vulvar region, applying cold packs can help soothe the skin and provide relief. A few examples of potential irritants include latex or topical medication allergies, such as creams, ointments, or suppositories. Additionally, friction from a dilator, penis or inserting anything into the vaginal canal without lubrication can exacerbate irritation. 

Muscle Relaxation: Heat therapy can generally benefit individuals experiencing vulvar pain caused by muscle spasms or tightness and seeking overall relaxation and ease tension. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction serves as an example of this. 

Increased Blood Flow: Heat enhances blood circulation, reducing inflammation and promoting healing. Alternating between cold and heat post-tearing can expedite recovery. Heat therapy supports post-surgery healing, such as postpartum recovery, offering relief from discomfort linked to episiotomies, tears, or cesarean section incisions in the vulvar area.

Pain Relief: Heat has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that can help to alleviate discomfort associated with vulvar pain, such as soreness or burning sensations. Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS): Heat therapy can help alleviate pelvic discomfort and bladder pain associated with IC/BPS, which may extend to the vulvar area. Also boils from ingrown hairs and Bartholin cyst which we know are super painful. 

Relief from Nerve Pain: Heat therapy can provide relief from nerve-related pain in the vulvar area, such as that caused by conditions like pudendal neuralgia or neuropathic pain.

Heat therapy is also helpful with Vaginal Dryness by improving blood circulation and promoting natural lubrication. Heat therapy can provide temporary relief from the chronic pain associated with vulvodynia, a condition characterized by unexplained vulvar pain or discomfort.


    - Always insert the cold Private Packs into the provided sleeve and use it to prevent skin damage or discomfort. 

    - It is best to apply a cold application, for no longer than 20 minutes. 

    To increase the coolness of your Private Packs, moisten the sleeve with witch hazel or alcohol-free aloe gel.

    - Reminder: If your Private Pack is cold, let it "rest" at room temperature before making warm in the microwave. 

    Note: Some conditions may worsen with cold therapy, and proper diagnosis is essential to ensure appropriate treatment.


    - Use heat treatment for pre-intercourse relaxation, prior to lancing boils or helping relieve dryness. 

    - Pair your warmed Private Packs with your preferred vaginal moisturizer to allow for better penetration into the skin’s surface.

    - It is best to apply a heat application, for no longer than 20 minutes. 

    - No microwave? Place your Private Packs in a heat safe bowl for a few minutes then place into the provided sleeve.

    Note: It's essential to use heat therapy safely and consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for vulvar pain.


    In Conclusion

    Luckily, with Private Packs’ vulva pack, the ability to relieve your symptoms can provide peace of mind while managing your wellness. Private Packs, which are reusable, patented-design, and FDA-registered, offer the flexibility to transition from cold to warm use.

    Ultimately, you know your body best, and engaging in what we call 'cycling' between cold and warm temperatures can help you manage your wellness on your terms as you navigate your health.


    Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a physician or medical advice. Private Packs recommends making healthcare decisions based in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

    It's essential to use heat therapy cautiously and adhere to recommended guidelines used by many health care professionals. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice, especially if you have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high or low blood pressure or a heart condition to name a few. 

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