Editorial

Vulval vestibulitis

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7450.1214 (Published 20 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1214
  1. Pat Munday, consultant genitourinary physician (pat.munday@whht.nhs.uk),
  2. Ann Buchan, psychotherapist
  1. Watford Sexual Health Centre, Watford General Hospital, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0HB

    Is a common and poorly recognised cause of dyspareunia

    Vulval vestibulitis or vestibulodynia is one of the vulval pain syndromes and is characterised by burning and soreness at the vaginal introitus at attempted penetration.1 It is found predominantly in young, well educated, white women. Although the prevalence is unknown, a recent, as yet unpublished, survey in community settings in west Hertfordshire shows a prevalence of 2.8-9.3%. The diagnosis is based on a triad of findings—penetrative pain, introital tenderness, and patchy erythema localised to the orifices of the vestibular glands in the absence of an infective, inflammatory, or neoplastic cause.1 The burning nature of the pain is typical of dysaesthesia, and many patients go on to develop more persistent and generalised vulval pain that would be compatible with dysaesthetic vulvodynia, a condition classically found in older women. The pain of vulval vestibulitis should be distinguished from vulval pruritus, which has different causes.

    The cause of the condition is unknown, attempts …

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