Sexual behavior changes with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome

J Reprod Med. 1998 Sep;43(9):783-9.


Objective: To study the changes in normal sexual behavior that accompany the vulvar vestibulitis syndrome and to gauge an appropriate classification for the resulting sexual dysfunction.

Study design: Following full medical screening, questionnaires were administered to assess sexual history, illness behavior and vulvar discomfort. Forty patients who met the criteria of vestibulitis syndrome composed the study cohort.

Results: The average duration of reported vulvar pain was 33 months (range, 3-240). The cohort showed no significant differences when compared with normative data on the sexual history form in their level of sexual desire, duration of intercourse or chance of female orgasm with intercourse or masturbation. Patients were: (1) highly likely to experience vulvar pain with intercourse (P < .001), (2) highly likely to have significantly reduced arousal potential (P < .001), (3) highly likely to complain of vulvar symptoms preventing intercourse from occurring (P < .001), (4) highly likely to have a reduced interest in intercourse and to have negative feelings toward it (P < .001); and (5) highly likely to refuse a partner's sexual advances (P < .001).

Conclusion: In the case of vulvar vestibulitis, the most appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, classification appears to be sexual dysfunction due to a general medical condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dyspareunia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Syndrome
  • Vulva / innervation
  • Vulva / pathology
  • Vulvar Diseases / pathology
  • Vulvar Diseases / psychology*
  • Vulvitis / psychology*