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Does treatment of lichen sclerosus improve overactive bladder symptoms?

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Introduction and hypothesis

Lichen sclerosus (LS) is a chronic disease which mainly affects the vulvar area in women. A few studies have shown a possible relationship between LS and overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms, but no studies have investigated whether OAB symptoms improve after initiating treatment of LS. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the treatment of LS also improves OAB symptoms in women newly diagnosed with LS.


This was a prospective cohort pilot study based on questionnaires from women newly diagnosed with LS and with symptoms of OAB. Women above the age of 18 who were newly diagnosed with LS were included. The women completed two questionnaires on OAB at inclusion and after 3 months. The questionnaires consisted of the validated questionnaires OAB-q (33 questions, maximum score 198) and ICIQ-OAB (8 questions, maximum score 56). All women initiated treatment with local steroid by the time of the LS diagnosis.


A total of 40 women were included, and 13 women dropped out during the data collection time. Comparing month 0 to month 3 for the remaining 27 women, a mean difference at 28.8 points was observed for OAB-q and a mean difference of 5.7 points was observed for ICIQ-OAB. Both results showed a statistically significant difference after 3 months (p < 0.05). A total of 92.6% (25/27) of the women improved their symptoms.


Treatment with local steroid might improve OAB symptoms in women newly diagnosed with LS.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.B. Olsen: Data collection and management, Data analysis, Manuscript writing.

H. Odgaard: Data collection, Project development, Protocol development.

K. Glavind: Data collection, Project development, Protocol development, Manuscript editing.

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Correspondence to Karin Glavind.

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Olsen, S.B., Odgaard, H. & Glavind, K. Does treatment of lichen sclerosus improve overactive bladder symptoms?. Int Urogynecol J 34, 1203–1209 (2023).

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