Vulvodynia: The challenge of "unexplained" genital pain

Alessandra Graziottin, Elena Castoldi, Francesco Montorsi, Andrea Salonia, Tommaso Maga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vulvodynia is a clinical syndrome that may include unexplained vulvar pain, sexual dysfunction, and psychological disability. It is a multifactorial syndrome that should be diagnosed, if possible, with ah intradisciplinary approach. This article discusses the diagnosis and treatment of vulvodynia, starting with a summary of the complex nervous system within the pelvis. Different clinical pictures and different subtypes of the syndrome have been described in order to identify the etiologic aspects that are essential for diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Clinical evalaution should stress attention to detailed "pain-mapping" and evaluation of past and present history. The gynecological examination should be an overall patient evaluation, incorporating global physical impression, change in posture due to pain and careful examination of the pelvic floor. Examination of the pelvic floor is frequently omitted. Leading to ah incorrect diagnosis of psychogenic pain. Such a misdiagnosis can result in the dismissal of appropriate treatment. Proper evaluation requires a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that includes medical, rehabilitative, and psychological issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-512
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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