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Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia

Elizabeth Gunther Stewart, MD
Section Editor
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


Vulvar pain syndromes are characterized by unexplained burning or any combination of stinging, irritation, pain, or rawness located anywhere between the mons and the anus and causing physical, sexual, and psychological distress.


The terminology used to describe vulvar pain syndromes has varied over time. The current classification system, which was agreed upon at the 2003 Congress of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, consists of two major categories [1,2]:

Vulvar pain related to a specific disorder:

Infectious (eg, candidiasis, trichomoniasis, herpes simplex virus)

Inflammatory (eg, lichen simplex chronicus, lichen sclerosus, lichen planus, atrophic vaginitis, immunobullous disorder)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jan 30, 2015.
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