Secondary Provoked Vestibulodynia in Sexually Active Women with Uncomplicated Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

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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.


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.


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.


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 (χ2: 4.54; P = 0.03) and suffered more frequently from UPEC-related rUTIs (χ2: 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.


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. Salonia A, Clementi MC, Graziottin A, Nappi RE, Castiglione F, Ferrari M, Capitanio U, Damiano R, and Montorsi F. Secondary provoked vestibulodynia in sexually active women with uncomplicated recurrent urinary tract infections. J Sex Med 2013;10:2265–2273

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