UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Prospective cohort of deep dyspareunia in an interdisciplinary setting Yong, Paul J.; Williams, Christina; Bodmer-Roy, Sonja; Ezeigwe, Chukwuemeka; Zhu, Sean; Arion, Kristina; Ambacher, Kristin; Yosef, Ali; Wong, Fontayne; Noga, Heather; et al.


Introduction: Deep dyspareunia is a common symptom in women, including in half of women with endometriosis, but little is known about its response to treatment and predictors of persistent deep dyspareunia over time. Aim: To follow up deep dyspareunia severity over a 1-year prospective cohort at an interdisciplinary center, and to identify baseline predictors of more persistent deep dyspareunia at 1 year. Methods: Prospective 1-year cohort study at a tertiary referral center for pelvic pain and endometriosis, where a range of interdisciplinary treatments are provided at a single center (surgical, hormonal, physical, and psychological therapies). Exclusion criteria were menopause, age >50 years, and never previously sexually active. Primary outcome (deep dyspareunia severity) and secondary outcome (sexual quality of life) were followed up over 1 year. Ordinal logistic regression was performed, controlling for baseline severity of deep dyspareunia, to identify baseline predictors of deep dyspareunia severity at 1 year. Main outcome measure: Primary outcome was severity of deep dyspareunia on an 11-point numeric rating scale (0-10), categorized into absent-mild (0-3), moderate (4-6), and severe (7-10); secondary outcome was sexual quality of life measured by the Endometriosis Health Profile-30. Results: 1-year follow-up was obtained for 278 subjects (56% response rate at 1 year; 278/497). Severity of deep dyspareunia improved over the 1 year (McNemar test, P < .0001): the proportion of patients in the severe category decreased from 55.0% to 30.4%, the moderate category remained similar from 17.7% to 25.0%, and the absent-mild category increased from 27.3% to 44.6%. Sexual quality of life also improved (56% to 43% on the sex subscale of the Endometriosis Health Profile-30) (Welch t test, P < .001). On ordinal regression, severity of deep dyspareunia at 1 year was independently associated with younger age (OR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.91-0.97, P = .008), and with a higher baseline depression score on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.03-1.11, P = .01). Clinical implications: Clinicians should consider employing an interdisciplinary approach for deep dyspareunia, and screening for and treating depression symptoms in these women. Strength & limitations: Strengths of the study include its prospective nature, and assessment of deep dyspareunia specifically (as opposed to superficial dyspareunia). Limitations include non-randomized design, and the patients lost to follow-up over the 1 year. Conclusion: Over 1 year in an interdisciplinary setting, improvements were observed in deep dyspareunia and sexual quality of life, but younger women and those with more severe depression at baseline had more persistent deep dyspareunia at 1 year.

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