Section 56
Chapter 55,276

Psychosexual aspects of vulvovaginal pain

Bergeron, S.; Likes, W.M.; Steben, M.

Best Practice and Research. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology 28(7): 991-999


ISSN/ISBN: 1532-1932
PMID: 25104563
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2014.07.007
Accession: 055275560

Vulvovaginal pain problems are major health concerns in women of childbearing age. Controlled studies have shown that vulvovaginal pain can adversely affect women and their partners' general psychological well-being, relationship adjustment, and overall quality of life. These women have significantly lower levels of sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction, as well as a lower intercourse frequency than normal controls. They also report more anxiety and depression, in addition to more distress about their body image and genital self-image. Empirical studies indicate that specific psychological and relationship factors may increase vulvovaginal pain intensity and its psychosexual sequelae. Randomized clinical trials have shown that psychosexual interventions, namely cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), are efficacious in reducing vulvovaginal pain and improving associated psychosexual outcomes. Women reporting significant psychological, sexual, and/or relationship distress should be referred for psychosexual treatment. A multimodal approach to care integrating psychosexual and medical management is thought to be optimal.

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