Interstitial cystitis is associated with vulvodynia and sexual dysfunction-A case-control study

Barbara Gardella, Daniele Porru, Rossella E. Nappi, Maria Diletta Daccò, Alessia Chiesa, Arsenio Spinillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Dyspareunia and sexual dysfunction are common in women with urological disorders. The study of comorbidity between interstitial cystitis (IC) and vulvodynia seems to be relevant to understand the mechanism generating pain in these conditions. Aim. To conduct a case-control study for evaluating vulvodynia and sexual dysfunction in women with IC. Methods. Forty-seven women with new diagnosis (National Institutes of Health [NIH]/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK] Criteria) of IC were compared with 188 age-matched, negative controls. Each woman completed a semi-structured interview and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). A gynecological examination to assess vulvodynia (cotton swab testing) and genital health (vulvoscopy, Pap smear, culture, and vaginal health index score [VHIS]) was performed. Main Outcome Measures. Prevalence of vulvodynia, sexual function, and sociodemographic/gynecological variables significantly associated with IC. Results. Spontaneous or provoked vulvodynia was reported by 23.4% and 74.5% of IC cases, respectively. Sexual function was significantly impaired (median total FSFI score: IC cases 16.85±8.73 vs. controls 27.34±6.41; P2 for trend=38.2, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1726-1734
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Bladder and Vulvar Pain
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Menopause
  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Sexual Pain
  • Vulvodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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