Current Bladder Dysfunction Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 248–257 | Cite as

Vulvodynia: Current Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

  • Manuel Di Biase
  • Valerio Iacovelli
  • Ervin KocjancicEmail author
Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders (MS Mourad, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Inflammatory/Infectious Bladder Disorders


Purpose of review

We aim to summarize and broaden the knowledge regarding diagnosis and treatment options of vulvodynia. This review also aims to describe epidemiology, presumed etiopathology, and the future directions of treating vulvodynia in order to add to understand to whether the disorders should be distinguished or combined.

Recent findings

Vulvodynia is an extremely common genital pain syndrome. Although common, most practitioners are uncomfortable with the diagnosis and management of these women’s pain.


This was a review of all relevant studies with no language restrictions. The following databases were widely searched from inception to the end of March 2016 for published and unpublished research evidence: MEDLINE, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science (WoS), including Science Citation Index, and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science; Scopus; The Cochrane Library including the Cochrane Systematic Reviews Database (CDSR), Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCRT), and database. The most recent uro-gynecological guidelines were searched. Existing reviews were also checked for eligible studies. Full search terms were a combination of the following: (provoked, localized) vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome, vulval vestibulitis, clitorodynia, hemivulvodynia, vaginismus, (superficial) dyspareunia, sexual dysfunction, and pain. We searched the medical literature relating to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of vulvodynia. Although many treatment options are available, no treatment is effective for all patients, thus the need to individualize management. Further studies are needed to better understand the etiopathogenesis and the optimal treatment.


Vulvodynia Vulvar pain disorder 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Di Biase
    • 1
  • Valerio Iacovelli
    • 2
  • Ervin Kocjancic
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Urology and AndrologyUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Urology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine and SurgeryTor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of UrologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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