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Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Mar;73(3 Pt 1):410-3.

Vulvar vestibulitis--subgroup with Bartholin gland duct inflammation.

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  • 1Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.


Some women with vulvar vestibulitis have tenderness at the Bartholin gland duct opening and associated dyspareunia. Forty-four patients with severe incapacitating dyspareunia of up to 5 years' duration were studied. Microscopic examination revealed a chronic inflammation located near the Bartholin gland duct opening. No etiologic agent was evident. Of 30 women treated initially with laser vaporization of inflamed areas, 13 (43%) showed significant improvement. Sixteen patients were treated with perineoplasty and all improved significantly; all became functional sexually although eight had previously failed laser therapy. Women with vulvar vestibulitis can be identified easily with a simple Q-tip touch technique directed at the duct opening. This diagnosis should be considered in the evaluation of women with obscure etiologies of dyspareunia.

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