A retrospective study of relevant diagnostic procedures in vulvodynia

Christina Damsted Petersen, Ellids Kristensen, Lene Lundvall, Annamaria Giraldi
Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2009, 54 (5): 281-7

OBJECTIVE: To identify objective clinical signs of vulvodynia and determine specific diagnostic tests for vulvodynia in women referred to a vulvar outpatient clinic for vulval complaints.

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective study was performed of the medical records of 201 consecutive Danish patients suspected of suffering from vulvodynia who were referred to a vulvar outpatient clinic (Department of Gynecology, Rigshospitalet University Hospital) between October 2003 and January 2006.

RESULTS: Of 201 women, 117 were diagnosed with vulvodynia and 84 had other diagnoses. Of the women diagnosed with vulvodynia in the vulvar clinic, 88.9% were correctly diagnosed before referral. The women with vulvodynia were more likely to report dyspareunia (chi2 = 7.89, p = 0.005) and stinging pain (chi2 = 3.74, p = 0.05). The nonvulvodynia group was more likely to report a tendency toward fissures (chi2 = 5.94, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Self-reported dyspareunia and stinging pain are strongly associated with vulvodynia. Self-reported pruritus and a tendency toward fissures are not likely to be associated with vulvodynia. Whether vulvar biopsies should be performed regularly when redness and pain is present must be explored further in prospective studies.

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