The aim of current study was to estimate the impact of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) on sexual function in a clinical population of Italian postmenopausal women. Women aged 45-75 years with at least one VVA symptom completed three questionnaires: Day-to-Day Impact of Vaginal Aging (DIVA), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Female Sexual Distress Scale revised (FSDS-R). A gynaecological examination was performed for VVA confirmation. Among the 1,066 evaluable patients, VVA was confirmed in around 90% of the sample. Sexual function impairment was significantly higher in patients with confirmed VVA as observed by significant differences in the sexual function component of the DIVA questionnaire ( = .014), the FSDS-R ( < .0005), and the FSFI ( < .0005), as well as for all the FSFI subdomains: desire ( < .0005), arousal ( < .0005), lubrication ( < .0005), orgasm ( < .0005), satisfaction ( < .0005) and pain ( < .0005). Significant impairment of sexual function was demonstrated in Italian postmenopausal women who were clinically confirmed with signs of VVA through gynaecological examination. IMPACT STATEMENT At least half of postmenopausal women report VVA associated symptoms with significant impact on sexual function and ultimately on sexual activity. As compared with patients without confirmed VVA, the negative impact on sexual function was significantly higher in patients with confirmed VVA. This difference was observed for the sexual function component (DIVA-C) of the DIVA questionnaire, for the overall FSDS-R result, and for the overall FSFI score, as well as for all the FSFI subdomains (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain). An impairment of sexual function is significantly associated with VVA diagnosis in Italian post-menopausal women, especially when diagnosis was objectively confirmed by clinical signs of VVA visible in the gynaecological examination. In addition, this study demonstrates that inquiring about VVA using a structured questionnaire may increase the diagnosis of VVA related changes in sexual function.

References

PubMed