Journal Article

Use of Oral Contraceptive Pills and Vulvar Vestibulitis: A Case-Control Study

Céline Bouchard, Jacques Brisson, Michel Fortier, Carol Morin and Caty Blanchette

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 156, issue 3, pages 254-261
Published in print August 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online August 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Use of Oral Contraceptive Pills and Vulvar Vestibulitis: A Case-Control Study

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Vulvar vestibulitis is characterized by superficial pain during intercourse. Exploratory studies have suggested that oral contraceptives (OCs) could be associated with occurrence of vulvar vestibulitis. This 1995–1998 case-control study in Québec, Canada, sought to reassess this association. Included were 138 women with vulvar vestibulitis whose symptoms had appeared in the previous 2 years and 309 age-matched controls who were consulting their physicians for reasons other than gynecologic problems or contraception. Cases and controls were interviewed to obtain a detailed history of OC use and information on potential confounding factors. Relative risks were estimated by using logistic regression. The authors found that 4 percent of cases had never used OCs compared with 17 percent of controls. The relative risk of vulvar vestibulitis was 6.6 (95 percent confidence interval: 2.5, 17.4) for ever users compared with never users. When OCs were first used before age 16 years, the relative risk of vulvar vestibulitis reached 9.3 (95 percent confidence interval: 3.2, 27.2) and increased with duration of OC use up to 2–4 years. The relative risk was higher when the pill used was of high progestogenic, high androgenic, and low estrogenic potency. The possibility that OC use may contribute to the occurrence of vulvar vestibulitis needs to be evaluated carefully. Am J Epidemiol 2002;156:254–61.

Keywords: case-control studies; contraceptives, oral; dyspareunia; pain; vulvar diseases; vulvitis; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; OC, oral contraceptive.

Journal Article.  4675 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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