Secondary provoked vestibulodynia in sexually active women with uncomplicated recurrent urinary tract infections

Andrea Salonia, Maria Chiara Clementi, Alessandra Graziottin, Rossella E Nappi, Fabio Castiglione, Matteo Ferrari, Umberto Capitanio, Rocco Damiano, Francesco Montorsi
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2013, 10 (9): 2265-73

INTRODUCTION: Uncomplicated recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs) associated with uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are common among healthy, reproductive-aged women. Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a major reason of sexual pain in premenopausal women.

AIM: The aim of this paper is to assess prevalence and predictors of secondary PVD in a cohort of Caucasian-European, heterosexual, sexually active, reproductive-aged women seeking medical help for rUTIs as their primary complaint.

METHODS: Clinical and psychometric variables for 60 consecutive patients with rUTIs were considered. Patients were assessed with a thorough medical and sexual history, a number of psychometric instruments, and a specific physical examination. Urinalysis and self-collected urine cultures from the previous 12 months were also examined.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to test the associations between secondary PVD and sociodemographic and clinical variables.

RESULTS: Mean age was 34.2 years (median 33 years; range 21-42). Secondary PVD was found in 36 of 60 patients (60%). Women with PVD had a higher prevalence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) over the previous 12 months (χ(2) : 4.54; P = 0.03) and suffered more frequently from UPEC-related rUTIs (χ(2) : 5.92; P = 0.01) than those without PVD. Moreover, women with PVD showed significantly lower scores on Female Sexual Function Index domains (all P ≤ 0.01), as compared with PVD-negative women. UPEC-related rUTIs (odds ratio [OR]: 3.1; P = 0.01), six or more UTIs over the previous 12 months (OR: 2.8; P = 0.01), and treatment with three or more antibiotics throughout the same period (OR: 2.1; P = 0.04) emerged as independent predictors of PVD.

CONCLUSIONS: Three of five Caucasian-European, heterosexual, sexually active women of reproductive age complaining of rUTIs as their primary disorder also suffer from secondary PVD. Uncomplicated UPEC-related rUTIs are more frequently associated with secondary PVD than are UTIs caused by different uropathogens.

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