THE FREQUENCY OF SYMPTOMATIC VULVAL DISEASE: A GYNAECOLOGICAL'S PERSPECTIVE
The Medical Journal of Basrah University,
2009, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 104-107
Vulval lesions are not always sexually transmitted. Those which are not sexually transmitted are referred to as nonvenereal
dermatoses of female external genitalia. In our society vulval and genital diseases are always thought to be
sexually transmitted. Genital diseases may be associated with severe psychological trauma and fear in the mind of
patients. Therefore, it is of immense importance to diagnose these non-venereal dermatoses to relieve the patient from
the stigma of sexually-transmitted diseases.
The aim of this study was to determine the causes and relative frequency of non venereal vulval diseases seen in
gynaecological practice over 19 months period from May 2008 till November 2009, all consenting female patients
irrespective of their age and pregnancy status attending the outpatient of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Basrah
General Hospital who presented with a vulval problem or complain were included in the study.
A total of 66 female patients were included in this study. The age of the patients ranged from 3 years to 62 years. A
total of 9 different types of disorders or dermatosis involving the vulva were noted. Common conditions observed in
our study were vulval candidiasis (59%), this is in contrast with studies done in other countries were lichen sclerosis
was the commonest cause of symptomatic vulval disease, while in our study the percentage of lichen sclerosis was
In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of diagnosing non-venereal dermatoses and clinicians need to
differentiate the various causes of non-venereal dermatoses. Specialist vulval clinics are a valuable source of clinical
teaching and research.
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