Vulvodynia—Younger Age and Combined Therapies Associate With Significant Reduction in Self-Reported Pain

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Abstract

Objectives

Eight percent of women have vulvodynia (VD), a chronic pain disorder with unknown etiology. The aim of our study was to assess the efficacy of given VD treatments measured by numerical rating scale (NRS) for pain and patients' quality of life.

Materials and Methods

Study material consisted of a retrospective VD patient cohort (N = 70). Data were collected by postal questionnaires and review of the medical records.

Results

We report here a statistically significant reduction in NRS only with combination of therapies (median NRS before treatments 8 vs median NRS 4 after treatments, p < .001) but not with any individual therapy alone, i.e., physiotherapy, topical medications, oral pharmaceutical therapy, sexual counseling by a trained nurse, sacral neuromodulation, and laser treatment or surgery. Older age (>30) and frequent (≥6) outpatient clinic visits associated with a significantly minor reduction in NRS (p = .03 and p = .04, respectively).

Conclusions

The results of this retrospective study suggest that an effective, multimodality-based treatment is most beneficial for VD patients and VD at older age may represent a subtype more resistant to therapy.

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