| pelvic pain

Gabapentin and Pelvic Pain: A Treatment Option for Vulvodynia?

Study Findings Suggest Efficacy for Reducing Pain, Improving Sexual Function

Conclusions from a new study suggest that gabapentin may be an effective treatment for provoked vulvodynia, a chronic pain condition marked by stinging, irritation, and burning, which is aggravated by contact, and may lead to sexual dysfunction. Lead author Gloria Bachmann, MD, MMS, Director of the Women’s Health Institute at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, commented, “Previous studies have suggested gabapentin reduces the pain of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that includes widespread pain in various parts of the body. Our theory was that reducing pelvic floor muscle pain might reduce vulvodynia pain overall and thus improve sexual function.” The findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The randomized, placebo controlled trial evaluated 230 women, average age 37 years, who had experienced provoked vulvodynia for ≥5 years. 89 subjects were randomized to receive treatment. Oral administration of gabapentin was found to result in reduced pain, and improved sexual desire and satisfaction, although overall sexual function remained below that of women without the condition, according to the findings. Dr. Bachmann continued: “We found that women with greater muscle pain responded better in terms of pain and improved arousal than those with less pain, which suggests that gabapentin be considered for treatment in women who have significant muscle tightness and spasm in the pelvic region.”

Read about the study findings.

The journal article may be read here.