In 2014, the executive council of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, the boards of directors of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, and the International Pelvic Pain Society acknowledged the need to revise the current terminology of vulvar pain, on the basis of the significant increase in high-quality etiologic studies published in the last decade.
The new terminology was achieved in the following 4 steps. The first involved a terminology consensus conference with representatives of the 3 societies, held in April 2015. Then, an analysis of the relevant published studies was used to establish a level of evidence for each factor associated with vulvodynia. The terminology was amended on the basis of feedback from members of the societies. Finally, each society's board accepted the new terminology.
In 2015,the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, and International Pelvic Pain Society adopted a new vulvar pain and vulvodynia terminology that acknowledges the complexity of the clinical presentation and pathophysiology involved in vulvar pain and vulvodynia, and incorporates new information derived from evidence-based studies conducted since the last terminology published in 2003.
In 2015, the ISSVD, ISSWSH, and IPPS adopted a new vulvar pain and vulvodynia terminology acknowledging the complexity of their etiology.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Galilee Medical Center and Bar Ilan Faculty of Medicine, Nahariya, Israel; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Center for Vulvovaginal Disorders, Washington, DC; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; the Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; the Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Pain Research and Innovation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.
Corresponding author: Jacob Bornstein, MD, MPA, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Galilee medical Center, P.O. Box 21, Nahariya 22100, Israel; e-mail: email@example.com.
Financial Disclosure Dr. Goldstein is affiliated with Palatin, Bayer (research funding), and Strategic Sciences and Technology, Emotional Brain (scientific advisory board). The other authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.
We thank Tessa Benitez and Vivian Gies from ISSWSH for organizing the consensus conference.
* J.B. and A.G. contributed equally to this work.
The consensus vulvar pain terminology committee: Jacob Bornstein (co-chair), Andrew Goldstein (co-chair), Denniz Zolnoun (co-chair), Gloria A. Bachmann, Ione Bissonnette, Sophie Bergeron, Nina Bohm Starke, Laura Burrows, Deborah Coady, A. Lee Dellon, Melissa Farmer, David Foster, Sarah Fox, Irwin Goldstein, Richard Gracely, Hope Katharine Haefner, Susan Kellogg-Spadt, Richard Marvel, Micheline Moyal Barracco, Pam Morrison,a Sharon Parish, Stephanie Prendergast, Caroline Pukall, Barbara Reed, Colleen Stockdale.b Observers: Lori Boardman,c Lisa Goldstein,a Phyllis Matea
a Representing also the National Vulvodynia Association (NVA).
b Representing also the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP).
c Representing also the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
IRB status: No approval required.
This article is published simultaneously in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Diseases, the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and Obstetrics & Gynecology.