Sexual dysfunction following vulvectomy

Michael S. Green, R. Wendel Naumann, Mollie Elliot, James B. Hall, Robert V. Higgins, Jared H. Grigsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Objective. This is a pilot study to evaluate sexual dysfunction in women after vulvectomy. Methods. An 88-question survey was used to assess body image and the DSM IV criteria for sexual dysfunction on women who had undergone vulvectomy. Results. Forty-seven women agreed to participate in the study and 41 women (87%) returned the survey. There was a significant alteration of body image in these women after vulvectomy (P = 0.004). Sexual frequency significantly decreased after surgery (P = 0.001) and there was significant sexual dysfunction in the categories of sexual aversion disorder (P = 0.01), arousal disorder (P = 0.02), and hypoactive sexual disorder (P = 0.001). The extent of surgery did not correlate with degree of sexual dysfunction in any category. Women who were depressed at the time of survey (as determined by the PRIME-MD scale) were more likely to suffer sexual aversion disorder (P = 0.05) and trended to have more body image disturbance (P = 0.1) and global sexual dysfunction (P = 0.06). Conclusions. Women experience significant sexual dysfunction after vulvectomy and the extent of surgery or type of vulvectomy did not correlate with degree of sexual dysfunction. There is a significant need to address sexual problems with all women after any vulvectomy. Age, depression, worsening GOG performance status, and preoperative hypoactive sexual dysfunction were risk factors for sexual dysfunction after vulvar surgery. Appropriate counseling and treatment of depression may be of benefit to this patient population. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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