The treatment of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: Toward a multimodal approach

Document Type



Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS) is currently thought to be the main cause of dyspareunia in pre-menopausal women (Friedrich, 1988; Meana et al., in press a), with reported prevalence rates of up to 15% in general gynecological practice (Goetsch, 1991). This syndrome is characterized by severe pain on vestibular touch or attempted vaginal entry, point tenderness to cotton-tip palpation of the vulvar vestibule, and physical findings confined to vestibular erythema and non-specific inflammation (Friedrich, 1987). Irritation and burning can persist for hours or days after sexual activity, and many patients also report localized pain from tampon use, finger insertion, gynecological examinations, wearing tight clothing and exercise. VVS is usually classified as one of the most common subsets of vulvodynia, a general condition of chronic, unexplained vulvar pain. Although it was probably described over a century ago (Skene, 1889), VVS has only recently been recognized as worthy of serious clinical and empirical consideration (e.g. Basson, 1994).


Dyspareunia; Pelvic pain; Psychosexual disorders; Sexual disorders; Vulva—Diseases; Vulvodynia


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

Publisher Citation

Bergeron, S., Binik, Y. M., Khalifé, S., Meana, M., Berkley, K. J., & Pagidas, K. (1997). The treatment of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: towards a multimodal approach. Sexual and Marital Therapy, 12(4), 305-311.

UNLV article access

Search your library