Differences in pain subtypes between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White women with chronic vulvar pain

Ruby H Nguyen, Robyn L. Reese, Bernard L Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanic women have significantly higher prevalence of chronic vulvar pain (CVP), which is known to have heterogeneous subtypes. However, it is not known whether subtypes differ by ethnicity, and improved understanding of subtypes may allow for targeted clinical assessment and therapies. We examined subtypes to determine whether they differed by ethnicity. Methods: Data were from 1,551 women who reported chronic vulvar pain consistent with vulvodynia in a population-based, cross-sectional study of women from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, during the years 2010-2013, who returned a validated screener survey about vulvar pain. Results: Among women with CVP, Hispanics reported more primary vulvodynia (adjusted [adj.] risk ratio=1.47; p<0.01), defined as pain with first intercourse or tampon use, and tended to be more likely to describe a burning pain (adj. risk ratio=1.45; p=0.06). Hispanic women with CVP were 17% more likely than non-Hispoanic Whites with CVP to have their pain alleviated with some type of behavior/remedy (p=0.01); for example, among the subgroup of women with CVP who used yeast cream, Hispanics more often reported benefit to their pain (adj. risk ratio=1.51; p<0.01). Discussion: We examined women with CVP and found that in comparison to their non-Hispanic White counterparts, Hispanic women are more likely to report a burning sensation and more likely to have primary vulvodynia, a subtype that is associated with great burden on the lives of affected women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

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© Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


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