Application of the 21-item Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire in postmenopausal Spanish women

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess vulvovaginal symptoms and urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women. Secondarily to evaluate factors related to the severity of vulvovaginal symptoms and the internal consistency of the used tools.

Methods:

In this cross-sectional study, the Spanish language version of the 21-item Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire (VSQ) and the 3-item International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ-SF) were applied to 122 postmenopausal Spanish women aged 45 to 75 years.

Results:

Mean age of the whole sample was 59.5 ± 4.9 years; 89.3% had natural menopause, 77.9% reported vulvovaginal symptoms, 54.9% had urinary incontinence, 54.1% were sexually active, and 77.0% currently had a partner. Calculated Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.87 and 0.88 for the VSQ and the ICIQ-SF, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis determined that total VSQ scores (more severe vulvovaginal symptoms) were positively correlated with female age, parity, surgical menopause, being sexually active, economic problems, phytoestrogen use, and more severe urinary incontinence. An inverse correlation was found with urban residency and time since menopause onset.

Conclusions:

Internal consistency of the VSQ and the ICIQ-SF was good in this postmenopausal sample in which age, sexual activity, urinary incontinence, drug use, and other personal aspects were important covariates determining the severity of vulvovaginal symptoms.

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