Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic vulvar pain a reality for more than 100,000 women in southeast Michigan

Date:
September 14, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A new study, which surveyed 2,269 women in the metro Detroit area, found that more than 25 percent of women have experienced ongoing vulvar pain at some point in their lives. However, only two percent of women sought treatment for their pain.

For more than 100,000 area women, chronic vulvar pain (pain at the opening to the vagina) is so severe it makes intercourse, and sometimes sitting for long periods of time, painful, if not impossible.

A new study from the University of Michigan, which surveyed 2,269 women in the metro Detroit area, found that more than 25 percent of women have experienced ongoing vulvar pain at some point in their lives. However, only two percent of women sought treatment for their pain.

For some, vulvar pain may be caused by activities like biking, tampon use, or intercourse, and for others it can be a persisting, spontaneous pain that can persist for up to 40 years.

Vulvodynia is characterized by a burning, irritation, or sharp pain near the opening of the vagina. The location, constancy and severity of the pain vary among women. Some women say they feel a slight discomfort, while others claim to suffer from knife-like pain. Common treatments, including topical creams, are typically directed towards alleviating symptoms and usually only provide partial pain relief.

The study, available online ahead of print in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that aside from the 9.2 percent of women who reported that they were currently experiencing pain consistent with vulvodynia, an additional 17.9 percent of women reported they have experienced symptoms of vulvodynia in the past.

That factors to over 318,000 women in southeast Michigan alone.

"What this means for area women is that vulvar pain is common, it has a name, and it can be addressed with their physicians," says Barbara D. Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H, a professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School and lead author of the study.

What researchers have found concerning is that of the two percent of women who sought treatment for their pain, five percent received a diagnosis of vulvodynia. Many women were misdiagnosed with either yeast infections or estrogen deficiency and the subsequent treatment plans they were recommended did little to alleviate their pain, suggesting these may not be causing their symptoms.

The primary goal of the study was to gain insight on the demographics of women with vulvar pain suggesting vulvodynia. Based on survey responses, researchers were able to determine the ethnicities and ages of those women with vulvar discomfort, as well as the intensity of the pain they experienced.

"With this knowledge, we better understand how common this disorder is, and who is likely to be affected. Knowing this should make it easier for medical providers to expect to see women with this problem, and will therefore make the diagnosis earlier so that treatment can proceed," Reed says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. The original article was written by Lauren McLeod. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Barbara D. Reed, Siobαn D. Harlow, Ananda Sen, Laurie J. Legocki, Rayna M. Edwards, Nora Arato, Hope K. Haefner. Prevalence and demographic characteristics of vulvodynia in a population-based sample. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.08.012

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Chronic vulvar pain a reality for more than 100,000 women in southeast Michigan." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131354.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, September 14). Chronic vulvar pain a reality for more than 100,000 women in southeast Michigan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131354.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Chronic vulvar pain a reality for more than 100,000 women in southeast Michigan." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110914131354.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins