Vulvodynia affects 25% of patients who have Interstitial Cystitis and painful bladder syndrome. A study conducted at the Department of Urology, William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI was helf to clinically evaluate the association between Interstitial Cystitis, painful bladder syndrome, vulvodynia and any contributing factors.
Vulvodynia is when there is chronic pain in the vulva area. Symptoms of vulvodynia include:
– Painful intercourse
For the study, seventy women with Interstitial Cystitis and/or painful bladder syndrome were evaluated for one year with a thorough history and exam. Two groups were created – one group for women with vulvodynia and one group for those that did not have vulvodynia. Using the diagnostic criteria, 51% of the women had vulvodynia and pain levels were higher in this group of women.
There was no significant difference in the total number of pelvic surgeries, history of sexually transmitted infections, vaginitis or abuse history between groups. It is possible that the correlation of vulvodynia and painful bladder syndrome/IC Disease may have been underestimated. Further research needs to be done to explore the link between precipitating factors, symptoms, and effective treatment options for PBS/IC and vulvodynia.