International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health


2015 Consensus terminology and classification of persistent vulvar pain

Dear ISSWSH Members

Since the previous terminology of vulvodynia was accepted by the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disorders (ISSVD) in 2003, studies have explored possible causative factors and treatment options. The International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), The International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disorders (ISSVD) and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS) believed there was an unmet medical need for a comprehensive, evidence-based set of vulvovaginal pain diagnoses that can be easily utilized by both expert and non-expert healthcare providers to establish diagnoses in their patients and to guide treatment. Therefore we discussed the possibility of revision of 2003 terminology and organized an ISSWSH sponsored international meeting in order to reach a consensus on the terminology of vulvar pain, April 8 - 9, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) were also represented.

As an outcome of this multi-society meeting, we have developed an evidence-based consensus among experts, experienced in the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and/or research of vulvovaginal pain, for appropriate nomenclature and definitions of vulvovaginal pain in women. Our mission was to make these definitions applicable across disciplines and useful in both clinical and research settings and also to serve as the basis of ICD codes for women's sexual health problems.

With great excitement we present the "2015 Consensus Terminology and Classification of Persistent Vulvar Pain", which has been accepted by all three societies: ISSWSH, ISSVD and IPPS. Please click here for the document.


Sharon J. Parish, MD, IF, NCMP
ISSWSH President, 2014-2016
       Andrew T. Goldstein, MD, FACOG, IF
ISSWSH Immediate Past President

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