Influence of dietary oxalates on the risk of adult-onset vulvodynia

Bernard L. Harlow, Haim A. Abenhaim, Allison F. Vitonis, Lisa J Harnack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between dietary oxalates and the development of vulvodynia. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a population-based, case-control study of women with and without vulvodynia from 9 ethnically diverse Boston-area communities. Conditional logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds of developing vulvodynia as a consequence of self-reported consumption patterns of high-oxalate foods and total weekly dietary oxalate. Oxalate consumption was referenced prior to the onset of symptoms in cases and to a matched reference date among controls. RESULTS: Baseline clinical characteristics were similar among the 242 cases and 242 controls except for a higher reported incidence of pain/difficulty with first tampon insertion among cases (46.3% vs. 32.2%, p < 0.01). After adjusting for potential confounders, no differences were observed in consumption patterns of different high-oxalate foods between cases and controls, and there was no increase in risk of developing vulvodynia with increasing tertiles of estimated oxalate intake. In addition, we saw no association between increasing consumption of various food items high in oxalate content and the risk of vulvodynia. CONCLUSION: Dietary oxalate consumption does not appear to be associated with an elevated risk of vulvodynia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Diet therapy
  • Oxalates
  • Vulvar diseases
  • Vulvodynia


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