Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Treatment of Urethral Pain Syndrome (UPS) in Sweden.

BACKGROUND: Urethral Pain Syndrome (UPS) in women is a recurrent urethral pain without any proven infection or other obvious pathology. There are few studies on UPS, and evidence-based treatment is lacking. The primary aim was to study what treatments are used, and to compare the treatment tradition of UPS in Sweden in 2018, with what was used in 2006.

METHODS: A questionnaire on the treatment of women with UPS was sent to all public gynecology, urology, gynecologic oncology and venereology clinics, and one public general practice in each county in Sweden in 2018. Private practice clinics in gynecology responded to the survey in 2017. Comparisons were made with the same survey sent to gynecology and urology clinics in 2006.

FINDINGS: Of 137 invited clinics in 2018, 99 (72.3%) responded to the survey. Seventy-seven (77.8%) of them saw women with UPS and 79.2% (61/77) of these clinics treated the patients using 19 different treatment methods. Local corticosteroids and local estrogens were the methods most used. Treatments were similar in gynecology and urology clinics in 2006 and 2018, although strong corticosteroids had increased in use in the treatment regimens of 2018. More than half of the clinics used antibiotics.

INTERPRETATION: Since there is no evidence-based treatment of UPS, a wide spectrum of treatments is used, and different specialties use different treatment strategies. Despite the lack of proven infection, a large number of clinics also treated the syndrome with antibiotics. There is thus a need for well-designed randomized controlled clinical trials to find evidence-based treatments of UPS.

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