Vulvar vestibulitis

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Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS), vestibulodynia, or simply vulvar vestibulitis, is vulvodynia localized to the vulvar region. It tends to be associated with a highly localized "burning" or "cutting" type of pain. The pain of vulvodynia may extend into the clitoris; this is referred to as clitorodynia.

Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) is the most common subtype of vulvodynia that affects premenopausal women. The syndrome has been cited as affecting about 10% to 15% of women seeking gynecological care.[1]

Symptoms[edit]

VVS is characterized by severe pain with attempted penetration of the vaginal orifice and complaints of tenderness with pressure within the vulval vestibule. Usually there are no reports of pain with pressure to other surrounding areas of the vulva. The feelings of irritation and burning can persist for hours or days following sexual activity, engendering a sense of hopelessness and depression. VVS also can often cause dyspareunia. [1][2][3]

The pain may be provoked by contact with an object, such as with the insertion of a tampon or penis or with the pressure from sitting on a bicycle seat, provoked vestibulodynia,[4] or it may be constant, as in the case of generalized vulvodynia. Some women have had pain since their first penetration (primary vulvar vestibulitis) while some have had it after a period of time with pain free penetration (secondary vulvar vestibulitis).[5]

Relationship problems often occur as the result of chronic frustration, disappointment, and depression associated with the condition.

Diagnosis[edit]

Diagnosis is readily made by the cotton-swab test, in which pressure is applied in a circular fashion around the vulvar vestibule to assess complaints of pain. Laboratory tests are used to exclude bacterial or viral infection, and a careful examination of the vulvo/vaginal area is conducted to assess whether any atrophy is present.

Causes[edit]

VVS involves multiple tiny erythematous sores in the vulval vestibule.[2][6] It may be indicative of focal vaginitis; a number of causes may be involved, including sub-clinical human papillomavirus infection, chronic recurrent candidiasis, or chronic recurrent bacterial vaginosis.[2][3] Muscular causes have been implicated as well, since chronic vulvar pain may be the result of chronic hypertonic perivaginal muscles, leading to vaginal tightening and subsequent pain. Some investigators have postulated the existence of neurological causes, such as vestibular neural hyperplasia. Finally, psychological factors may contribute to or exacerbate the problem, since the anticipation of pain often results in a conditioned spasmodic reflex along with sexual desire and arousal problems.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bergeron S, Binik YM, Khalifé S, Meana M, Berkley KJ, Pagidas K (1997). "The treatment of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: Toward a multimodal approach". Sexual and Relationship Therapy 12 (4): 305–11. doi:10.1080/02674659708408174. 
    Bergeron S, Binik YM, Khalifé S, Pagidas K (1997). "Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: a critical review". Clin J Pain 13 (1): 27–42. doi:10.1097/00002508-199703000-00006. PMID 9084950. 
  2. ^ a b c Marinoff SC, Turner ML (1991). "Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: an overview". Am J Obstet Gynecol. 165 (4 Pt 2): 1228–33. PMID 1659198. 
  3. ^ a b Peckham BM, Maki DG, Patterson JJ, Hafez GR (April 1986). "Focal vulvitis: a characteristic syndrome and cause of dyspareunia. Features, natural history, and management". Am J Obstet Gynecol. 154 (4): 855–64. PMID 3963075. 
  4. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/treatment-of-sexual-difficulties-and-research-into-asexuality/4058034 Suggested treatment for sexual difficulties and research into asexuality, Dr Lori Brotto, 11 June 2012, ABC Radio National
  5. ^ http://www.ourgyn.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=66
  6. ^ Friedrich EG (1987). "Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome". J Reprod Med 32 (2): 110–4. PMID 3560069.