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How many people are affected by or at risk for vulvodynia?

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The exact number of women with vulvodynia is unknown. Researchers estimate that 9% to 18% of women between the ages of 18 and 64 may experience vulvar pain during their lifetimes.1,2,3 The evidence suggests that many women either do not seek help at all or go from doctor to doctor seeking a diagnosis and treatment without receiving answers.4,5


  1. Arnold, L. D., Bachmann, G. A., Rosen, R., & Rhoads, G. G. (2007). Assessment of vulvodynia symptoms in a sample of U.S. women: A prevalence survey with a nested case control study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 196(2), 128e1-128e6. [top]
  2. Harlow, B. L., & Stewart, E. G. (2003). A population-based assessment of chronic unexplained vulvar pain: Have we underestimated the prevalence of vulvodynia? Journal of the American Medical Women's Association, 58(2), 82-88. [top]
  3. Harlow, B. L., Wise, L. A., & Stewart, E. G. (2001). Prevalence and predictors of chronic lower genital tract discomfort. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 185(3), 545-550. [top]
  4. Harlow, B. L., & Stewart, E. G. (2003). A population-based assessment of chronic unexplained vulvar pain: Have we underestimated the prevalence of vulvodynia? Journal of the American Medical Women's Association, 58, 82-88. [top]
  5. Reed, B. D., Harlow, S. D., Sen, A., Legocki, L. J., Edwards, R. M., Arato, N., & Haefner, H. K. (2012). Prevalence and demographic characteristics of vulvodynia in a population-based sample. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 206(2), 170.e1-9. PMID: 21963307 [top]

Last Updated Date: 06/28/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 04/22/2013