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Do experts for vulva diseases integrate sexual health problems in daily diasease-managment _ self-assessment results at the 10th anniversary of the interdisciplinarey Vulva-Workshop, VIVE-EV_Graz, September 2017

Kottmela, A1Eberz, B2; Körbel, TH3; Bitzer, J4; Teleky, B5; Ucsnik, L6

1: Private Practice for Gynecology and Sexual Medicine; 2: Practise for Gynecology and Obstetrics and Sexual Medicine, Vice-President, VIVE E.V., Austria; 3: Medical Unviersity Vienna, Austria; 4: Private Practise, Swisse; 5: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin f. Surgery, Austria; 6: Medical University Vienna, Univ.Clin.f.Surgery, Austria

Introduction: Vulvodynia and other vulvar disease have a high probability of influencing patients’ sexual function. Therefore, taking care of sexual issues is an important part of taking care for patients with vulvar diseases. We wanted to assess the approach towards patients’ sexual health of physicians taking part in an advanced training course for vulvar diseases.

Results: 63% of the participants from Austria, Germany and Switzerland were female. Their experience in managing vulva diseases was more than 21 years in 32% and 6-10 years in 21%. 37% of the respondents actively ask up to 20% of the patients about sexual problems, 32% between 81 and 100%. 53% stated that they were asked by up to 20% and 26% by 21-40 % of the patients about sexual issues. The 4 main causes mentioned as reasons for not discussing sexual problems were: lack of time (63%), other topics more important (58%), barrier of language (32%), patient’s age (16%), religion (16%) and culture (16%). The main options offered in case of sexual problems were: information on physiology of sexual function and referral to other specialist (58%, respectively), special appointments regarding sexual medicine (53%), hormone therapy (47%), pain therapy (37%), counseling the couple (26%), and psychotherapy (16%). 37% of the participants hold the Sexual Medicine Diploma of the Austrian Medical Chamber.

Conclusion: The participants of this meeting are experienced in managing vulva diseases (>50% with more than 6 years of experience) but asking patients about sexual issues is not completely integrated in their care routine as only 32% ask (nearly) all their patients about problems and 37% ask only up to 20%. Even with a rather high rate of additional training in Sexual Medicine (37% hold the Austrian diploma of Sexual Medicine), we consider these findings to underline the importance of targeted further education as sexual well-being is known to be highly correlated to patients’ quality of life and also therapy adherence.


Work supported by industry: no.

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