Vulvodynia: diagnosis and management

Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 1;73(7):1231-8.


The diagnosis of vulvodynia is made after taking a careful history, ruling out infectious or dermatologic abnormalities, and eliciting pain in response to light pressure on the labia, introitus, or hymenal remnants. Several treatment options have been used, although the evidence for many of these treatments is incomplete. Treatments include oral medications that decrease nerve hypersensitivity (e.g., tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, anticonvulsants), pelvic floor biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, local treatments, and (rarely) surgery. Most women experience substantial improvement when one or more treatments are used.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management
  • Prognosis
  • Vulvar Diseases / complications
  • Vulvar Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vulvar Diseases / therapy*


  • Antidepressive Agents