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In order to participate an individual had to be:

  1. Between the ages 21-45
  2. Been diagnosed by a doctor with VVS and/or experience pain in the vaginal region upon contact (e.g. intercourse,

tampon insertion, pelvic exam)

3. Currently have a sexual partner and experience painful intercourse

4. Be premenopausal and NOT pregnant

Study Overview

  • The study involved the use of 5% lidocaine for the treatment of Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS)
  • It required 2 visits to UNC Hospitals over the course of 6 weeks


Vulvar vestibulitis is a condition that affects the vulvar skin just outside of the vagina. It causes many women pain and often affects their ability to have sex. The diagnosis is usually based on your symptoms of pain and difficulty having sex. We also diagnose vestibulitis based on pain when we examine this area. There are many treatments used but we do not know which is the most effective. Currently, women with vestibulitis are treated with a variety of creams, pills, injections, physical therapy and even surgery. At our clinic we use higher dose estrogen and/or lidocaine cream, pills that help with nerve related pain, physical therapy and surgery to help treat our patient with vulvar vestibulitis do improve with lidocaine. During that study, there were a few patients that had blood levels of lidocaine drawn in the morning (after applying it on at night). Their level were very low.

We looked at the lidocaine ointment we had been using to see if it alone had any effect when compared to taking an inactive medication.


We are currently conducting data analysis of the results from this study.