OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) on sexual function in a clinical population of postmenopausal women. METHODS: Women 45 to 75 years old and more than 12 months after the last menstruation, who attended menopausal/gynecological centers in Italy and Spain, were included. Women with at least one VVA symptom completed the following questionnaires: Day-to-Day Impact of Vaginal Aging (DIVA), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and Female Sexual Distress Scale revised (FSDS-R). A physical gynecological examination was performed to confirm the VVA diagnosis. Data were analyzed by chi-square and Student's t tests. RESULTS: In all, 2,160 evaluable women were included in the study. VVA was confirmed in 90% of the included participants. The negative impact on sexual function was significantly higher in women with than in women without confirmed VVA, as evaluated with the sexual function component (DIVA-C) of the DIVA questionnaire (P = 0.013). Statistically significant differences (P < 0.0005) were also detected in the scores of overall FSDS-R, the overall FSFI, and of all the FSFI subdomains (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain). CONCLUSION: For postmenopausal women with at least one VVA symptom, the presence of physician-confirmed VVA is associated with significant impaired sexual function, as shown by unadjusted analyses. Given the impact on quality of life and the prevalence of VVA, further research to improve and reduce VVA is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology