April 5th, 2020

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Vulvodynia as a Possible Somatization Disorder: More Than Just an Opinion
Authors:  Franco Mascherpa, M.D., Fabrizio Bogliatto, M.D., Peter J. Lynch, M.D., Leonardo Micheletti, M.D., and Chiara Benedetto, M.D., Ph.D.
  Vulvodynia, defined as vulvar pain, soreness or burning as opposed to pruritus, is a common and important problem. Despite its high prevalence and associated distress, the etiology, diagnosis and management of this disorder have not been clearly delineated. On the basis of recent advances in psychosomatic medicine, vulvodynia can be considered a somatiform disorder affecting the vulva. Psychosomatic assessment is useful in patients with vulvodynia. This review covered recent advances in psychosomatic medicine with reference to somatization disorders and their application to vulvodynia. According to the literature, vulvodynia shares some basic criteria by which functional pain disturbances are defined. Thus, all patients with vulvodynia should undergo psychologic and sexual evaluation since in some instances psychotherapy may offer the only successful approach to the alleviation of vulvar pain. (J Reprod Med 2007;52:107-110)
Keywords:  somatization disorders, vulva, vulvar diseases, vulvodynia
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