International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 483–488 | Cite as

The proportion of women with central sensitivity syndrome in gynecology outpatient clinics (GOPDs)

  • Monika VijEmail author
  • Anthony Davies
  • Anu Dua
  • Robert Freeman
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Patients in gynecology outpatient clinics (GOPDs) may present with symptoms that do not correlate well with the observed pathology and are usually labelled as having a functional disorder or medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Underlying central sensitivity syndrome (CSS) with central sensitization (CS) as a potential mechanism may be responsible for some of their symptoms. The aim of this study is to identify the proportion of women with central sensitivity syndrome attending GOPDs.


This was a prospective study. All women attending a GOPD included in the study were asked to complete a validated Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI). The responses were graded on a Likert scale from 0 (never) to 4 (always). The total score ranges from 0 to 100. For screening purposes, a single CSI cutoff score of 40 was used to identify the group of women who may have central sensitization syndrome.


Three hundred twenty-six women participated in the study. Overall, 123 (37%) women achieved a score above 40. This could be interpreted as these patients having increased risk of underlying central sensitization. Of these, 43 had a previously confirmed diagnosis of migraine, 55 (44%) depression, 39 (31.7%) anxiety, 11 fibromyalgia (FM), 34 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and 16 chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME).


Managing patients and their expectations in gynecological outpatient departments when symptoms are inconsistent with observable pathological findings is challenging. This is further complicated when patients have a concomitant central sensitivity syndrome, which can also influence the surgical outcome. Identifying these patients is a key factor for appropriate management.


Central sensitivity syndrome Central sensitization Pelvic organ prolapse Gynecology outpatient clinic 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Monika Vij: none.

Dr. Anthony Davies: none.

Anu Dua: Honoraria, Speciality European Pharma.

Robert Freeman: Honoraria, holds a position on the IUGA Board


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Derriford HospitalPlymouthUK
  2. 2.Singleton HospitalSwanseaUK

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