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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Jun;26(2):107-13.

Pelvic floor muscle functioning in women with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

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1
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Reissing@uottawa.ca

Abstract

Vaginal sEMG biofeedback and pelvic floor physical therapists' manual techniques are being increasingly included in the treatment of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS). Successful treatment outcomes have generated hypotheses concerning the role of pelvic floor pathology in the etiology of VVS. However, no data on pelvic floor functioning in women with VVS compared to controls are available. Twenty-nine women with VVS were matched to 29 women with no pain with intercourse. Two independent, structured pelvic floor examinations were carried out by physical therapists blind to the diagnostic status of the participants. Results indicated that therapists reached almost perfect agreement in their diagnosis of pelvic floor pathology. A series of significant correlations demonstrated the reliability of assessment results across muscle palpation sites. Women with VVS demonstrated significantly more vaginal hypertonicity, lack of vaginal muscle strength, and restriction of the vaginal opening, compared to women with no pain with intercourse. Anal palpation could not confirm generalized hypertonicity of the pelvic floor. We suggest that pelvic floor pathology in women with VVS is reactive in nature and elicited with palpations that result in VVS-type pain. Treatment interventions need to recognize the critical importance of addressing the conditioned, protective muscle guarding response in women with VVS.

PMID:
16050536
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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