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Prevalence and demographic characteristics of vulvodynia in a population-based sample

Publication Abstract

Reed, B.D., Sioban D. Harlow, A. Sen, L. Legocki, R. Edwards, N. Arato, and H. Haefner. 2012. "Prevalence and demographic characteristics of vulvodynia in a population-based sample." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 206(2): 170.e1–170.e9.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of vulvodynia among women in southeast Michigan. STUDY DESIGN: A population-based study of adult women was conducted, using telephone recruitment and completion of a self-administered survey. Weighted estimates of vulvodynia prevalence and characteristics were determined. RESULTS: Over a year, 2542 women were recruited and 2269 (89.3%) completed the self-administered survey. The weighted prevalence of vulvodynia was 8.3% (95% confidence interval, 7.0-9.8) or approximately 101,000 women in the targeted population. Prevalence remained stable through age 70 years and declined thereafter. Among sexually active women, the prevalence was similar at all ages. Of 208 women meeting vulvodynia criteria, 101 (48.6%) had sought treatment, and only 3 (1.4%) had been diagnosed with vulvodynia (unweighted values). Previous vulvodynia symptoms had resolved in 384 women (16.9%) after a mean duration of 12.5 years. CONCLUSION: Vulvodynia is common, although rarely diagnosed. Prevalence remains high among sexually active women of any age.

DOI:10.1016/j.ajog.2011.08.012 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3779055. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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