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Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia

Robert L Barbieri, MD
Section Editor
Howard T Sharp, 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.

This topic will review the manifestations and diagnosis of generalized vulvodynia. Other causes of sexual pain are reviewed separately. (See "Differential diagnosis of sexual pain in women".)


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)

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 03, 2017.
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