Our study evaluated the presence and predictors of sexual dysfunction in a vulvovaginal specialty clinic population.
Materials and Methods
Women who presented to a vulvovaginal specialty clinic were eligible to enroll. The participants completed a questionnaire, including Female Sexual Function Index to assess sexual dysfunction and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 depression screen, and underwent a standardized physical examination, with vaginal swabs collected for wet mount and culture. Logistic regression assessed the relationship between sexual dysfunction and clinical diagnosis.
We enrolled 161 women, aged 18 to 80 years (median, 36 years), presenting with vulvovaginal complaints. Median symptom duration was 24 months; 131 women (81%) reported chronic symptoms (≥12 months). By PHQ-9, 28 women (17%) met depression criteria. In the month before assessment, 86 women (53%) experienced sexual dysfunction. Women had a primary diagnosis of vaginitis (n = 46 [29%]), vestibulodynia/vulvitis (n = 70 [43%]), lichen planus or lichen sclerosus (n = 24 [15%]). Controlling for age, we found that sexual dysfunction did not correlate with chronic symptoms (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50–1.48), depression (IRR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.59–2.58), or presence of any of the 3 main diagnoses (IRR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.47–2.88).
Sexual dysfunction is present in more than half of women presenting to a vulvovaginitis referral clinic, more than twice the rate in the wider population.