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Low-Level Laser Therapy Not Recommended for Treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia

Uncertainty on the cause can make PVD a challenging condition to treat. Doctors may suggest topical ointments, numbing agents, estrogen preparations, antidepressants, anticonvulsant medications, pelvic floor physical therapy, and vaginal dilators. Vestibulectomy (the surgical removal of the vestibule), counseling, and sex therapy are other strategies.

Scientists have been investigating another PVD treatment possibility: low-level laser therapy. This approach uses non-thermal laser irradiation and is currently used to treat conditions like neck pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. It is non-invasive and can be done right in the doctor’s office.

To find out more about the effectiveness of laser therapy with PVD patients, a team of Israeli researchers designed a pilot study and published their findings in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in September 2017.

Eighteen women with PVD were assigned to receive two laser therapy treatments each week for six weeks. A comparison group of sixteen women received a placebo treatment on the same schedule. The women were then followed for about a year.

The researchers used several methods to assess the women’s progress over time, including verbal reports, written logs of sexual activity, and tampon insertion. A “Q-tip test,” in which a clinician touched the vestibule with a cotton swab, was also conducted.

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