The effect of vulvovaginal atrophy on women’s quality of life from an Italian cohort of the EVES study

on behalf of the investigators of the EVES Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) has an impact on the quality of life (QoL) of women. This post hoc analysis of the EVES study provides an overview of the QoL in postmenopausal Italian women in relation with VVA severity. We included 1066 women attending menopause/gynaecologic centres. A face-to-face survey (including QoL and sexual life questionnaires), joining an objective gynaecological examination to confirm VVA, were performed. The 65.5% of the participants presented severe vaginal, vulvar and/or urinary symptoms; an 86.9% had an objective confirmed VVA. Women with severe symptoms presented with significantly worse QoL scores than the women without. We found there were moderately significant correlations between vaginal and vulvar symptoms' severity and lower overall DIVA QoL scores (p<.0005, in both cases). Women with a confirmed VVA presented worse QoL scores than women without confirmation. Our data suggest a clear relationship between VVA severity and a decrease in QoL in postmenopausal Italian women.IMPACT STATEMENTWhat is already known on this subject? Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) appears as a common chronic disorder in postmenopausal women that, as soon as the oestrogen levels decrease, becomes a severe condition affecting their quality of life (QoL). What do the results of this study add? We provide new insight about QoL related to VVA severity in Italian postmenopausal women. Our local data demonstrates that QoL in Italian women suffering from menopause is directly related to the severity of vaginal and vulvar symptoms. The same correlation exists for urinary symptoms. QoL is also reduced in patients with an objectively confirmed VVA diagnosis. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? The implications of our findings involve the need for a better management, not only of the physical aspects of VVA, but also of the non-physical dimensions. Clinicians should ask for the impact of VVA on QoL aspects, making postmenopausal women aware about the possible affected spheres. Medical personnel should conduct future campaigns in the Italian general population, not only in those asking for medical help, to make all women conscious about this silent disorder affecting physical and non-physical dimensions and in order to treat it at early stages.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • DIVA
  • EQ5DL
  • Italy
  • postmenopause
  • quality of life
  • vulvovaginal atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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