OBJECTIVES: To examine within the primary health care setting, the frequency of chronic vulval disorders, their frequency, investigation, management and referral patterns. METHODS: A questionnaire based survey at general practitioners surrounding a district general hospital. RESULTS: A total of 79 (72%) GPs replied to the questionnaire. Thirty-six (45%) GPs saw more than one patient per month with recurrent vulval symptoms and ten (13%) GPs saw more than three patients per month. The predominant symptom amongst patients with recurrent vulval symptoms was itching (55%) followed by soreness (26%), burning (14%) and dyspareunia (5%). Topical-antifungals and steroid medications were the commonest treatments prescribed for all women with vulval symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Women who have vulval complaints commonly attend their GP for treatment. In many instances women with chronic vulval complaints are inadequately investigated and inappropriately managed.
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