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J Reprod Med. 2000 Aug;45(8):679-84.

Clinical profile of vulvodynia patients. A prospective study of 300 patients.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Center, University of British Columbia, Canada.



To define the demographic and clinical characteristics of women presenting with vulvodynia.


Vulvodynia patients seen by the author between September 1996 and June 1999 were included in the study. Patients completed a standardized questionnaire and were interviewed and clinically examined.


Three hundred one patients completed the questionnaire. The average age was 38 years old, 72% reported postsecondary education, 54% were nulligravid, and 55% were married. Average duration of symptoms was 38 months. Patients reported dyspareunia (71%), vulvar burning (57%) and vulvar itching (46%). One-third reported problems with sexual response. The majority (64%) reported a "history" of yeast infections. Over 64% of the time all therapeutic interventions tried by patients made the vulvar symptoms no better or worse. Approximately 55% reported another chronic health condition. Positive physical findings were often limited to inflammation in the vestibule (25%) and pain on palpation of the posterior vestibule (69%). Patients reported that their vulvodynia limited their physical activities.


Physicians should approach management of vulvodynia using a chronic pain model that emphasizes multidisciplinary health care and "improvement" in health, rather than single interventions and cure of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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