Multilevel local anesthetic nerve blockade for the treatment of generalized vulvodynia: a pilot study

J Sex Med. 2012 Nov;9(11):2919-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02909.x. Epub 2012 Aug 27.


Introduction: Vulvodynia is a common pain disorder among women with a major impact on sexual functioning and quality of life. There are few published studies addressing the treatment of the pain of generalized vulvodynia or of generalized vulvodynia accompanying localized pain in the region of the vulvar vestibule.

Aim: A prospective, noncontrolled pilot study was conducted to assess the efficacy of a novel treatment using caudal epidural, pudendal nerve block, and vulvar infiltration of local anesthetic agents.

Main outcome measures: The main outcome measure was vulvar pain as assessed by the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). The secondary outcome measures were depressed mood evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and sexual functioning assessed by the Female Sexual Functioning Inventory (FSFI).

Methods: Thirty-two women with vulvodynia met inclusion criteria and 26 women completed the study. The protocol included five treatment sessions with multilevel local anesthetic nerve blockade and a follow-up contact or visit 2-3 months later.

Results: There were significant improvements in vulvar pain as determined by both the sensory and affective components of the MPQ and in depression as assessed by the BDI. However, there were no changes in sexual functioning on the FSFI.

Conclusion: Serial multilevel nerve block administered for the treatment of vulvodynia is a neurophysiologically based modality that may be effective and merits a placebo-controlled study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vulvodynia / therapy*
  • Young Adult