Urogenital infections in relation to the occurrence of vulvodynia

Ruby H.N. Nguyen, David Swanson, Bernard L. Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether antecedent urogenital infections and their frequency are associated with the development of vulvodynia. STUDY DESIGN: Data were obtained from a case-control study of 191 case and 171 control women in the Boston area from 2000 to 2005. Using questionnaire data, we examined self-reported urogenital infections occurring before onset of vulvar pain (cases) and reference age (controls), using unconditional logistic regression accounting for matched variables (current age and residence). RESULTS: Analysis was restricted to women reporting intercourse before first vulvar pain (cases) or reference age (controls). After adjusting for race, age at first intercourse, coital frequency and number of sex partners, a history of genital warts (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.4, 95% CI 1.3-8.8), trichomoniasis (OR = 5.7, 95% CI 1.1-29, urinary tract infection (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.1) or yeast infection (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.3) were associated with increased estimated risk for vulvodynia. With an increasing number of types of antecedent infections (1, 2 or 3+), ORs = 1.3, 2.6 or 8.3, respectively, were observed. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that diverse urogenital infections may precede onset of vulvodynia, with multiple assaults significantly compounding risk. However, prospective studies documenting urogenital infections and treatment are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Case-control study
  • Infections
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Vulvodynia


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