Quality of life and sexual function after evaluation and treatment at a referral center for vulvovaginal disorders

Jeffrey T. Jensen, Kathleen Wilder, Kirsten Carr, Jillian Romm, Amy Hansen, Linda Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: This study was undertaken to assess sexual function and quality of life of women after evaluation and treatment of vulvovaginal problems at a University Center. STUDY DESIGN: Subjects were mailed a cover letter and follow-up survey. All new patients (322) referred for evaluation of vulvar problems at a University Vulvar Specialty Clinic between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 1999, were mailed a survey instrument containing specific questions concerning general, vulvar, and sexual health. Medical records from clinic visits were manually abstracted. Groups defined with descriptive statistics and proportional change in symptoms analyzed with χ2 statistics. RESULTS: Of the 322 women who met the study criteria, 195 returned valid surveys for an overall response rate of 60.5%. The mean duration of follow-up was 28 months. The most common presenting symptoms were vulvar pain (86%), dyspareunia (71%), itching (35%), and skin changes (20%). At follow-up, 128 (66%) reported improvement in symptoms compared with 14 (7%) that worsened (P < .001). Although subjects did not report an increase in the frequency of sexual activity, significantly more women reported an increase in enjoyment (n = 77, 43%) of sexual activity than a decrease (n = 30, 17%, P < .001). CONCLUSION: Most women presenting for evaluation of vulvar pain will report improvement in symptoms and sexual function after treatment in a Vulvar Specialty Clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1629-1637
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Quality of life
  • Sexual function
  • Vulvar pain
  • Vulvar vestibulitis
  • Vulvodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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