Quarterly scientific journal

Vulvodynia: fertility, pregnancy and birth. Current trends and updates

Angeliki Antonakou , Dimitrios Papoutsis

Abstract

Introduction: It has been reported that approximately 11.3% of sexually active women of reproductive age will present with vulvodynia at some time point in their life. The pathogenesis of this disorder is unknown. Vulvodynia has significant implications for the sexual life and psychosomatic health of women affected by this. Objectives: Our objective was to provide a brief description of the most recent trends on the issues of fertility, pregnancy and birth in women suffering from vulvodynia. Material-Method: Literature review with use of the databases Medline, Scopus and Embase between 2005-2016 and with the following key words: vulvodynia, subfertility, labour and delivery. Results: On review of the literature there are few reports on the issues of fertility and the pregnancy and birthing features of women suffering from vulvodynia. Epidemiological studies have shown that women with vulvodynia are Caucasian, 20-30 years of age, with a high educational and financial status. The studies show that these women have smaller rates of pregnancies when compared to the general population due to relatively less sexual activity due to pain during intercourse. Women with vulvodynia have a higher rate of cesarean section (CS) in comparison with the general population, which is attributed to maternal request instead of true obstetric indications. The neonatal outcomes and the use of epidural analgesia are similar between women with vulvodynia and those without. Conclusions: Both health practitioners and women need to be properly consulted and informed about this entity of vulvodynia especially in terms of fertility, pregnancy and birth.

Keywords: Vulvodynia, cesarean section, pregnancy

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