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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Jun;113(3):225-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.12.018. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

Psychosexual correlates of persistent postsurgical pain in patients with vulvodynia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pelvic Pain Research Unit, Division of Advanced Laparoscopy and Pelvic Pain, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, USA.



To examine long-term reports of pain and psychologic correlates of pain in women after vestibulectomy.


In a retrospective cross-sectional exploratory study, 37 women who had undergone vestibulectomy between January 1989 and January 2008 completed questionnaires assessing demographic information, self-reported levels of pain, anxiety, somatization, psychologic distress, and sexual function.


Eight women reported being completely pain free after surgery. The remaining 29 women reported various levels of pain during intercourse (as measured by the Gracely pain scale) and decreased sexual function (as measured by a sexual functioning questionnaire). Various measures of psychologic distress were associated with average intercourse-related pain, including brief symptom inventory (P=0.002), Pennebaker inventory of limbic languidness (P=0.002), perceived stress scale (P=0.04), and Spielberger trait-anxiety inventory (P=0.01). These same measures of psychological distress were similarly associated with general, unprovoked vaginal pain.


The present data suggest that the pathophysiology of localized vulvodynia may be more complex in some women, leading to a suboptimal response to surgical treatment.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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