Evaluation of sexual function in Brazilian women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis and localized provoked vulvodynia

J Sex Med. 2012 Mar;9(3):805-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02584.x. Epub 2012 Jan 3.


Introduction: Recurrent vulvovaginitis is an important trigger for inflammatory processes that in many cases may result in vulvovaginal pain. Vulvodynia, a vulvar disorder, can also cause a lot of pain in the female genitals. The sexual function in women with vulvodynia or recurrent vulvovaginitis will possibly be negatively affected and therefore should be evaluated.

Aim: To assess sexual function in women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) and localized provoked vulvodynia (LPV) in comparison with women without lower genital tract dysfunction.

Methods: A 1-year cross-sectional study evaluated sexual function in 58 women (11 with RVVC, 18 with LPV, and 29 controls) seen at a university outpatient clinic. Sexual function was assessed by taking into account the results obtained from the application of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney, chi-square, and Fisher's tests were used for statistical analysis.

Main outcome measure: FSFI, a validated questionnaire in Portuguese.

Results: There were no significant differences in the three groups with respect to age, marital status, schooling, race, body mass index, contraceptive method, and parity. The FSFI questionnaire total score found was 25.51 (±5.12), 21.17 (±5.15), and 29.56 (±3.87) for the RVVC, LPV, and control groups, respectively. The scores were significantly statistically lower in the study groups compared with the control group (P<0.05). Women with RVVC and LPV also had lower total scores compared with 26.55 values, considered a cutoff score for sexual dysfunction in literature. The LPV group showed a significant difference and scored worse in the domains of arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain but not in the domain of sexual desire. The same occurred with the RVVC group but only for the domains of orgasm and satisfaction.

Conclusion: Women with RVVC and LPV had significantly more symptoms of sexual dysfunction than women without lower genital tract diseases.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / complications*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / etiology*
  • Vulvodynia / etiology*
  • Young Adult