Approach to the diagnosis and treatment of vulvar pain

Dermatol Ther. 2010 Sep-Oct;23(5):485-504. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2010.01352.x.


Vulvar pain is a common problem, affecting up to 16% of women. The pain and discomfort seriously impacts their quality of life, and is compounded by the increasing frustration encountered in their search for appropriate medical advice. Their pain can be localized or generalized, constant or intermittent, with or without visible changes. For practitioners, the correct diagnosis and treatment of vulvar pain is a challenge. There is an extensive differential diagnosis, from problems that are simple and immediately visible to those that are much more complex and truly invisible. This review provides an approach to the diagnosis of vulvar pain. It outlines the wide range of etiologies for vulvar pain, and provides details of the most vexing in a comprehensive look at vulvodynia, including definition, theory, diagnosis, and therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Candidiasis / complications
  • Dermatitis, Contact / complications
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Herpes Zoster / complications
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus / complications
  • Streptococcal Infections / complications
  • Vulvar Lichen Sclerosus / complications
  • Vulvodynia / diagnosis*
  • Vulvodynia / etiology
  • Vulvodynia / physiopathology
  • Vulvodynia / therapy*
  • Vulvovaginitis / complications