Oral contraceptive use and risk of vulvodynia: a population-based longitudinal study
Article first published online: 13 AUG 2013
© 2013 RCOG
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 120, Issue 13, pages 1678–1684, December 2013
How to Cite
Oral contraceptive use and risk of vulvodynia: a population-based longitudinal study. BJOG 2013; DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12407., , , , , , .
- Issue published online: 11 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 13 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 JUN 2013
- National Institute of Child Health
- Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: HD054767
- Chronic pain;
- oral contraceptives;
- risk factors;
To assess whether the risk of vulvodynia is associated with previous use of oral contraceptives (OCs).
Longitudinal population-based study.
Four counties in south-east Michigan, USA.
A population-based sample of women, aged 18 years and older, enrolled using random-digit dialling.
Enrolled women completed surveys that included information on demographic characteristics, health status, current symptoms, past and present OC use, and a validated screen for vulvodynia. The temporal relationship between OC use and subsequent symptoms of vulvodynia was assessed using Cox regression, with OC exposure modelled as a time-varying covariate.
Main outcome measure
Vulvodynia, as determined by validated screen.
Women aged <50 years who provided data on OC use, completed all questions required for the vulvodynia screen, and had first sexual intercourse prior to the onset of vulvodynia symptoms were eligible (n = 906). Of these, 71.2% (n = 645) had used OCs. The vulvodynia screen was positive in 8.2% (n = 74) for current vulvodynia and in 20.8% (n = 188) for past vulvodynia. Although crude cross-tabulation suggested that women with current or past vulvodynia were less likely to have been exposed to OCs prior to the onset of pain (60.7%), compared with those without this disorder (69.3%), the Cox regression analysis identified no association between vulvodynia and previous OC use (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.81–1.43, P = 0.60). This null finding persisted after controlling for ethnicity, marital status, educational level, duration of use, and age at first OC use.
For women aged <50 years of age, OC use did not increase the risk of subsequent vulvodynia.