Vulvodynia: A practical guide in treatment strategies

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2023 Nov;163(2):510-520. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.14815. Epub 2023 May 8.


Vulvodynia is a debilitating condition characterized by chronic vulvar pain, with a detrimental impact on the patient's overall quality of life. Its etiology is multifactorial, but still in the process of being clearly outlined. Vulvodynia is not a single entity. It is a heterogeneous condition characterized by multiple triggers, making it challenging to define a reference standard for its treatment. In this manuscript we selected all articles including the following key criteria: "vulvodynia". The primary outcomes observed included the resolution of chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia and sexual satisfaction, psychological well-being, and overall quality of life. Most pharmacologic treatments require further evidence to be recommended. On the other hand, non-pharmacologic approaches such as psychotherapy, physical therapy, and surgery have received stronger support. This review summarizes pros and cons of adopting available treatments. Multimodal approaches should be introduced to improve patient outcomes. Further investigations are warranted to improve patients' quality of life.

Keywords: medical treatment; pain; physical therapy; psychotherapy; quality of life; surgical treatment; vulva; vulvodynia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspareunia*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Pain / etiology
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Vulva
  • Vulvodynia* / diagnosis
  • Vulvodynia* / etiology
  • Vulvodynia* / therapy