Defining Diagnostic Case Criteria for Research in Vulvodynia

May 15-16, 2013


Gynecologic Health and Disease Branch, Division of Extramural Research, NICHD; Office of the Director (OD), NICHD


Rockledge II, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland


Vulvodynia is the term used to describe chronic pain or discomfort of the vulva. Clinicians and patients trying to deal with vulvodynia report being frustrated by the lack of scientific evidence to support effective diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

In 2011 and early 2012, the NICHD developed a Research Plan on Vulvodynia in collaboration with other federal, private, and non-profit organizations and researchers in the field. A key part of this plan was the development of reliable, valid, and standardized measures for diagnosis and outcome measurement to further epidemiological, etiological, and clinical studies. Scientists and researchers indicated that consistency in evidence-based definitions and outcomes would not only allow for comparisons across studies but also enable the field to move forward more quickly.

This meeting aims to:

  • Identify key domains to capture in diagnostic criteria for vulvodynia research.
  • Identify candidate measures that, if validated, could be included in diagnostic criteria for vulvodynia research.
  • Establish an evidence base for a validation study or studies to create a sensitive, specific, cost-effective set of diagnostic criteria for vulvodynia research.

This meeting continues the NICHD’s investment in vulvodynia research with the ultimate goal of improving the lives and health of women with this condition.

Participation in this conference is by invitation only.


Estella Parrott, Science Policy, GHDB, DER, NICHD
Phone: (301) 4356971

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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