A Population-Based Study of Pregnancy and Delivery Characteristics Among Women with Vulvodynia

Ruby H.N. Nguyen, Elizabeth G. Stewart, Bernard L. Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction: To examine pregnancy and delivery characteristics of women with and without vulvodynia. Methods: The authors analyzed 227 vulvodynia cases that were less than 45 years old at pain onset; controls were age matched 1:1 to cases and had no history of vulvar pain. Pregnancy and delivery events were assessed after age at first vulvar pain onset (the reference age) in cases and a matched age in controls. Results: The authors observed no significant difference between cases and controls in achieving pregnancy after reference age. Also, no difference in pregnancy outcome was observed between cases and controls (P = 0.87). There was an indication that cases were more likely to receive a Cesarean section delivery (P = 0.07). In addition, 37.1% of cases who had vaginal delivery versus 11.3% of controls (P < 0.01) reported pain at 2 months postpartum. Comparing only women with vulvodynia, women who had intermittent pain versus constant pain were more than twice as likely to have a pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio 2.26, 95% CI 1.10–4.60). Conclusions: Women with vulvodynia may be as likely as other women to carry their pregnancy to birth; however, they may experience higher rates of Cesarean section delivery and could reflect a selection towards those women with vulvodynia who have inconsistent pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalPain and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Allison Vitonis for her programming assistance. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH-R01-HD38428). Results were presented as a poster presentation at the 42nd Annual Society for Epidemiologic Research meeting in Anaheim, California, 2009, and an oral presentation at the XXth World Congress of the International Society of the Study of Vulvovaginal Disorders. Dr. Nguyen is the guarantor for this article, and takes responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012, The Author(s).


  • Cesarean
  • Fertility
  • Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal delivery
  • Vulvodynia


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