AIMS: To objectively assess the psychological and psychosexual morbidity of patients with vulvar vestibulitis. METHODS: 30 patients with variable degrees of vulvar vestibulitis were recruited from a vulval clinic. Each patient underwent a detailed history and clinical examination. Friedrich's criteria were used for the diagnosis of vulvar vestibulitis. Standardised questionnaires to assess psychological and psychosexual function were completed by the patient before review. These questionnaires were the STAI and a modified psychosexual questionnaire introduced by Campion. RESULTS: Patients experienced considerable psychological dysfunction compared with controls. All aspects of psychosexual dysfunction were affected. CONCLUSIONS: When managing patients, psychosexual and psychological issues must be considered in addition to other conventional types of therapy. Vulvar vestibulitis may be a risk factor for developing psychosexual complications including vaginismus, low libido, and orgasmic dysfunction. Consideration of these factors must be an integral part of the management of patients with all chronic vulval conditions.
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