Prospective evaluation of combined local bupivacaine and steroid injections for the management of chronic vaginal and perineal pain

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Sep;284(3):681-5. doi: 10.1007/s00404-010-1763-z. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Abstract

Purpose: Vaginal/perineal pain is common following obstetric trauma or vaginal surgery for prolapse and may have a serious impact on sexual function and quality of life. Local injections of corticosteroids, local anaesthetic and hyaluronidase are treatment options for chronic pain; however, there are no published studies to support their efficacy. The objective of this study was to evaluate prospectively the efficacy of perineal/vaginal injections for chronic localised pain following childbirth or vaginal surgery.

Methods: Consecutive women with chronic vaginal/perineal pain were recruited in this prospective series (audit). Pain severity and sexual function were determined using a visual analogue scale (VAS 0-10) and the abbreviated sexual function questionnaire (ASFQ) respectively. Patients underwent local injections with a combination of 0.5% bupivacaine (10 ml), hydrocortisone (100 mg) and hyaluronidase (1,500 IU). Follow-up was undertaken at four-weekly intervals. Further injections were performed as clinically indicated.

Results: Fifty-three women underwent ≥1 injections [mean: 1.86 (range: 1-4)]. Mean interval from index childbirth [43/53 (81%)] or surgical intervention [10/53 (19%)] was 8 months (range 12 weeks-20 years). Twenty-seven women (51%) were sexually active. All reported dyspareunia. Fifteen (28%) women required 1 and 31(59%) two injections. Pre treatment VAS pain scores were 6.1 versus 4.1 after first injection (p = 0.0002, 95% CI 1.01-3.05) and mean ASFQ scores increased from 18.1 to 29.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI -17.2 to -2.3) 4 weeks post-injection. There were no adverse events or morbidity. 24/27 (89%) sexually active women with dyspareunia resolved and 18/26 (69%) sexually inactive women resumed satisfactory sexual activity 8 weeks post-injection.

Conclusion: In our series, this treatment was well tolerated and significant improvements in pain scores and sexual function were observed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bupivacaine / administration & dosage
  • Bupivacaine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Dyspareunia / drug therapy*
  • Episiotomy / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / administration & dosage
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / therapeutic use
  • Hydrocortisone / administration & dosage
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Perineum / injuries
  • Postpartum Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Vagina / surgery
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Bupivacaine