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Published online: 2021-03-17
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Pilot study of testing a clinical tool for pelvic physical examination in patients with vulvodynia

Ewa Baszak-Radomanska, Jadwiga Wanczyk-Baszak, Tomasz Paszkowski
DOI: 10.5603/GP.a2020.0168
·
Pubmed: 33757151

open access

Ahead of Print
ORIGINAL PAPERS Gynecology
Published online: 2021-03-17

Abstract

Objectives: Vulvodynia diagnosis is based on medical history and physical examination. The study is aimed to evaluate
the clinical usefulness of a pelvic floor physical examination (VAMP protocol) for vulvodynia diagnosis, applied during
gynecological examination, proposed as educational and diagnostic tool.
Material and methods: Pelvic physical examinations were performed for 650 non-pregnant female patients. A study
group of 449 cases met the vulvodynia diagnostic criteria (120 with provoked, 104 with spontaneous, and 121 with mixed
subtype) and were compared with those of 201 healthy individuals. Four anatomical regions were examined: the vulva
(V) and anus (A) with a cotton swab, the internal pelvic muscles (M) with a digital examination of the levator ani, and the
paraurethral (P) area with digital pressure. Only the maximum pain score for a given area was recorded, using a Numerical
Rating Scale. The four anatomical regions were recorded under the VAMP acronym.
Results: Differences in mean scores VAMP protocol were statistically between vulvodynia and comparison group for
V = 6.48 vs 0.98; M = 6.29 vs 1.05; and P = 6.89 vs 1.33, with exception of A = 0.03 vs 0.08. Patient age, weight, way of delivery,
other concomitant diseases (e.g., dysuria, anal and bowel symptoms), vulvodynia subtype, and pain duration did not
influence VAMP scores in patients with vulvodynia and comparison group.
Conclusions: Pelvic examination according to VAPM protocol can be applied in vulvar pain patients for diagnostic
purposes. Besides of vulvodynia symptoms any other analyzed variables did not influence on scores of VAMP protocols.
We found that cut-off score ≥ 3 even in one of V, M or P component of VAMP protocol can be considered as diagnostic
criterium for vulvodynia. Component A (anus area) was not useful for vulvodynia diagnosis.

Abstract

Objectives: Vulvodynia diagnosis is based on medical history and physical examination. The study is aimed to evaluate
the clinical usefulness of a pelvic floor physical examination (VAMP protocol) for vulvodynia diagnosis, applied during
gynecological examination, proposed as educational and diagnostic tool.
Material and methods: Pelvic physical examinations were performed for 650 non-pregnant female patients. A study
group of 449 cases met the vulvodynia diagnostic criteria (120 with provoked, 104 with spontaneous, and 121 with mixed
subtype) and were compared with those of 201 healthy individuals. Four anatomical regions were examined: the vulva
(V) and anus (A) with a cotton swab, the internal pelvic muscles (M) with a digital examination of the levator ani, and the
paraurethral (P) area with digital pressure. Only the maximum pain score for a given area was recorded, using a Numerical
Rating Scale. The four anatomical regions were recorded under the VAMP acronym.
Results: Differences in mean scores VAMP protocol were statistically between vulvodynia and comparison group for
V = 6.48 vs 0.98; M = 6.29 vs 1.05; and P = 6.89 vs 1.33, with exception of A = 0.03 vs 0.08. Patient age, weight, way of delivery,
other concomitant diseases (e.g., dysuria, anal and bowel symptoms), vulvodynia subtype, and pain duration did not
influence VAMP scores in patients with vulvodynia and comparison group.
Conclusions: Pelvic examination according to VAPM protocol can be applied in vulvar pain patients for diagnostic
purposes. Besides of vulvodynia symptoms any other analyzed variables did not influence on scores of VAMP protocols.
We found that cut-off score ≥ 3 even in one of V, M or P component of VAMP protocol can be considered as diagnostic
criterium for vulvodynia. Component A (anus area) was not useful for vulvodynia diagnosis.

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Keywords

gynecological exam; pelvic examination; pelvic floor muscles; vulvar pain; vulvodynia

About this article
Title

Pilot study of testing a clinical tool for pelvic physical examination in patients with vulvodynia

Journal

Ginekologia Polska

Issue

Ahead of Print

Article type

Research paper

Published online

2021-03-17

DOI

10.5603/GP.a2020.0168

Pubmed

33757151

Keywords

gynecological exam
pelvic examination
pelvic floor muscles
vulvar pain
vulvodynia

Authors

Ewa Baszak-Radomanska
Jadwiga Wanczyk-Baszak
Tomasz Paszkowski

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