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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Mar;212(3):291-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.05.039. Epub 2014 May 29.

Does treatment for cervical and vulvar dysplasia impact women's sexual health?

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University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California.
Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
Division of Women's Reproductive Healthcare, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.


Human papillomavirus-associated disease represents an immense public health burden worldwide. Persistent human papillomavirus infection can lead to the development of cervical dysplasia and vulvar dysplasia, both of which have been increasing in incidence in women in recent years. Numerous studies have focused on methods for screening and diagnosis of cervical dysplasia, but few have looked at the effects of treatment on women's psychological and sexual health. Even fewer studies have addressed these issues in women with vulvar dysplasia. The aim of this article was to provide a comprehensive review of the existing evidence concerning the impact of therapy for cervical and vulvar precancers on women's sexual function and sexual relationships. We performed a search of the medical literature for the time period up to and including August 2013 on PubMed. The findings from a limited number of studies to date indicate that psychosexual vulnerability increases after diagnosis and treatment of both cervical and vulvar dysplasia. More in-depth research is needed to better understand the effects of different treatment modalities on women's sexual health and relationships during and following treatment.


cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; dysplasia; human papillomavirus; sexual health; vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia

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