2015 ISSVD, ISSWSH, and IPPS Consensus Terminology and Classification of Persistent Vulvar Pain and Vulvodynia

Jacob Bornstein, Andrew T. Goldstein, Colleen K. Stockdale, Sophie Bergeron, Caroline Pukall, Denniz Zolnoun, Deborah Coady, Gloria A. Bachmann, Ione Bissonnette, Nina Bohm Starke, Laura Burrows, A. Lee Dellon, Melissa Farmer, David Foster, Sarah Fox, Irwin Goldstein, Richard Gracely, Hope Katharine Haefner, Susan Kellogg-Spadt, Richard P. MarvelMicheline Moyal Barracco, Pam Morrison, Sharon Parish, Stephanie Prendergast, Barbara Reed, Lori Boardman, Lisa Goldstein, Phyllis Mate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Introduction In 2014, the Executive Council of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD), the Boards of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS) acknowledged the need to revise the current terminology of vulvar pain, based on the significant increase in high quality etiologic studies published in the last decade. Methods The new terminology was achieved in four steps. The first involved a terminology consensus conference with representatives of the three societies, held in April 2015. Then, an analysis of the relevant published studies was used to establish a level of evidence for each factor associated with vulvodynia. The terminology was amended based on feedback from members of the societies. Finally, each society's board accepted the new terminology. Results and Conclusion In 2015, the ISSVD, ISSWSH, and IPPS adopted a new vulvar pain and vulvodynia terminology that acknowledges the complexity of the clinical presentation and pathophysiology involved in vulvar pain and vulvodynia, and incorporates new information derived from evidence-based studies conducted since the last terminology published in 2003.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Consensus Conference
  • Dyspareunia
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Terminology
  • Vestibulodynia
  • Vulva
  • Vulvar Pain
  • Vulvar Vestibulitis
  • Vulvodynia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology


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