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Vulvodynia in adolescents

presentation, diagnosis and treatment options

Hersh, Judith E.a,b,c

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2018 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 293–299
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000480

Purpose of review Vulvodynia in adults is a significant source of genital and sexual pain with far reaching negative repercussions. Well designed studies with sufficient power in adults are limited and there are even fewer in adolescents. This review will help the clinician understand, diagnose and treat vulvodynia in adolescents based on current knowledge.

Recent findings Although research on vulvodynia in adolescents is lacking, studies suggest that it not only exists but also may negatively impact an adolescent's medical and sexual health. This review will look at both historical approaches to vulvodynia, as well as more current approaches. It is important to note that no treatment modalities have been specifically approved for use in vulvodynia.

Summary Vulvodynia in women is known to have significant impact on general health and sexual wellbeing. How early vulvodynia presents is unknown, but it appears that in at least some cases, it can be found in adolescents. Providers of adolescent care should have knowledge of this pain disorder so that they may appropriately diagnose and manage this multifactorial problem.

aNJ Center for Sexual Wellness

bThomas Jefferson University-Sidney Kimmel Medical College

cAtlantic Health Systems/Morristown Medical Center, Lifeline Medical Associates/Women's Care Source, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence to Judith E. Hersh, MD, FACOG, IF, NCMP, 111 Madison Ave, Suite #308, Morristown, NJ 07960, USA. Tel: +1 973 285 0400; e-mail:

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