Epidemiology and Demographics

No large studies have been performed to accurately estimate the prevalence of vestibulitis in the population. In

1995,Baggish and Miklos5 performed a meta-analysis of 15 studies with 450 patients in an attempt to more accurately characterize women with vulvar vestibulitis. The typical vulvar vestibulitis patient is white, nulliparous, well-educated, and young. The women have frequently seen multiple clinicians, and have sought treatment for 2 to 3 years before the diagnosis is made. Many are diagnosed with recurrent urinary tract infections, candidal infections, human papillomavirus (HPV), and allergies. An increased rate of prior sexual abuse in these patients has been reported, but is controversial.6,7

Psychological testing on women with vulvar vestibulitis has found higher rates of introversion, somatization, and interference with sexual function. Overall levels of psychological distress, negative feelings toward sex, self-esteem, and marital satisfaction are conflicted in the literature with some studies showing no difference from matched controls and others finding opposite results. Furthermore, the order of causation remains unclear, with many authors suggesting a circular relationship of the physical condition and psychological changes.8-10

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