Article

Somatization and psychological distress among women with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

Division of Advanced Laparoscopy and Pelvic Pain, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7570, USA.
International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics (Impact Factor: 1.84). 10/2008; 103(1):38-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2008.05.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the distribution of psychological characteristics and pain reporting among women with vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS).
In this exploratory study, 109 women with VVS completed a battery of questionnaires to assess pain with intercourse and psychological characteristics (e.g. somatization, anxiety, distress). The distribution of these characteristics was compared, first with a conventional binary classification schema (primary and secondary) and subsequently with a 3-category schema (primary, latent primary, secondary).
Severity of pain with intercourse did not differ among the subgroups using either classification schema. Women with primary VVS consistently showed higher levels of somatization, anxiety, and distress compared with those with secondary VVS. Using a 3-tiered classification system, we found no difference between latent primary diagnosis and the other 2 groups (primary and secondary).
This study highlights the critical need for research on subtype definition and the role of psychological factors in VVS.

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