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Application of the 21-item Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire in postmenopausal Spanish women

Fernández-Alonso, Ana M. MD, PhD1; Alcaide-Torres, Javier MD1; Fernández-Alonso, Isabel M. RN1; Chedraui, Peter MD, PhD2; Pérez-López, Faustino R. MD, PhD3

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000948
Original Articles

Objective: To assess vulvovaginal symptoms and urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women. Secondarily to evaluate factors related to the severity of vulvovaginal symptoms and the internal consistency of the used tools.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the Spanish language version of the 21-item Vulvovaginal Symptoms Questionnaire (VSQ) and the 3-item International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ-SF) were applied to 122 postmenopausal Spanish women aged 45 to 75 years.

Results: Mean age of the whole sample was 59.5 ± 4.9 years; 89.3% had natural menopause, 77.9% reported vulvovaginal symptoms, 54.9% had urinary incontinence, 54.1% were sexually active, and 77.0% currently had a partner. Calculated Cronbach's alpha coefficients were 0.87 and 0.88 for the VSQ and the ICIQ-SF, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis determined that total VSQ scores (more severe vulvovaginal symptoms) were positively correlated with female age, parity, surgical menopause, being sexually active, economic problems, phytoestrogen use, and more severe urinary incontinence. An inverse correlation was found with urban residency and time since menopause onset.

Conclusions: Internal consistency of the VSQ and the ICIQ-SF was good in this postmenopausal sample in which age, sexual activity, urinary incontinence, drug use, and other personal aspects were important covariates determining the severity of vulvovaginal symptoms.

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1Unidad de Gestión Clínica, Obstetricia y Ginecología, Complejo Hospitalario Torrecárdenas, Almería, Spain

2Institute of Biomedicine, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador

3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Zaragoza, Lozano-Blesa University Hospital, Zaragoza, Spain.

Address correspondence to: Faustino R. Pérez-López, MD, PhD, University of Zaragoza Faculty of Medicine, Domingo Miral s/n, Zaragoza 50009, Spain. E-mail:

Received 29 May, 2017

Revised 13 June, 2017

Accepted 13 June, 2017

Funding/support: This research was not funded by any commercial or nonprofit organization or public agency.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

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© 2017 by The North American Menopause Society.