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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Jun;164(6 Pt 1):1609-14; discussion 1614-6.

Vulvar vestibulitis: prevalence and historic features in a general gynecologic practice population.

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Department of Ob-Gyn Education, Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, Portland, OR 97210.


All gynecologic patients seen by the author during a 6-month period were questioned and examined by means of a swab test to determine the prevalence of vulvar vestibulitis and the normal variation in sensitivity of vestibular skin. Of 210 patients, 78 (37%) had some degree of positive testing. A total of 31 patients (15%) were found to fulfill the definition of vulvar vestibulitis. A questionnaire was administered to these patients as well as to seven patients in whom vestibulitis had been previously diagnosed. A total of 50% had always had pain, most since their teenage years. Their history was not suggestive of a cyclic or remittent pattern of symptoms. Those with secondary dyspareunia or resolution of pain were usually either in a post partum phase or had group B streptococcus or human papillomavirus. The two most severe cases of vestibulitis occurred after use of fluoroucil cream. A total of 32% had some female relative with dyspareunia or tampon intolerance, raising the issue of a genetic predisposition.

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