Vol 93, No 11 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-12-03

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Vulvodynia in prepubertal girls: diagnosis

Jadwiga Wanczyk-Baszak1, Tomasz Paszkowski1, Ewa Baszak-Radomanska2
Pubmed: 35072227
Ginekol Pol 2022;93(11):867-871.


Objectives: To identify specific features of vulvodynia in prepubertal girls, highlight potential triggers and concomitant
diseases, outline diagnostic criteria is neglected problem in adolescent gynecology.

Material and methods: A retrospective study, based on medical records of an outpatient clinic, a cohort of 54 vulvodynia cases was evaluated, aged 3–10 years, seen between January 2016 and July 2018.

Results: The study cohort presented with pain (61%), sometimes aggravated at night, pruritus (44%) and a range of
other varied and unusual vulvar complaints (26%). Concomitant diseases and/or psychological problems were present in
61% of cases. Overactive pelvic muscles accompanying symptoms like urological or gastrological problems were noted
in half of children. Several potential triggers were identified in a third of the cases that were emotionally stressful to
the children. From the commencement of symptoms, 93% of the girls have consulted more than one doctor with 43%
seeing more than three doctors, without receiving a diagnosis of vulvodynia.

Conclusions: A diagnosis of vulvodynia needs to be considered in the absence of vulva pathology with wide range of
vulvar pain, pruritus and discomfort. All persistent or recurrent vulvar discomfort must be taken into consideration as
a vulvodynia symptom, also various non-specific, worrisome complaints. Comorbid urological and gastrological symptoms associated with overactive pelvic muscles should not be overlooked. Chronic pain can be triggered by the psychological distress in some prepubertal girls. Proper diagnosis may prevent long-term negative sequelae, what emphasizes the need for professional education of healthcare providers in adolescent vulvar pain and discomfort.

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