The Relapsing - Remitting Subset (in Vulvodynia)

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Remission of vulvodynia symptoms is common with approximately half of remitters experiencing a relapse within 6-30 months.

Health Rising's survey indicated that a substantial subset of people with ME/CFS get ill then get much better and then get ill again. This study indicates that similar subset occurs in vulvodynia. People who were in more pain and/or were diagnosed with fibromyalgia were more likely to relapse after having a remission.

God knows how these things happen but the fact that a similar pattern appears to exist in vulvodynia- a disease that is sometimes comorbid with ME/CFS - is interesting...

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]Remission, Relapse, and Persistence of Vulvodynia: A Longitudinal Population-Based Study.
Reed BD1, Harlow SD2, Plegue MA1, Sen A1,3.
Author information


Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vulvodynia has been considered to be a chronic disorder. We sought to estimate the probability of and risk factors for remission, relapse, and persistence among women screening positive for vulvodynia.
METHODS:

Survey-based assessment in a longitudinal population-based study of women (the Woman to Woman Health Study) who screened positive for vulvodynia and completed at least four follow-up surveys. Outcome measures included remission without relapse, relapse (after remission), and persistence of a positive vulvodynia screen. Multinomial regression was used to assess factors associated with outcomes.
RESULTS:

Of 441 women screening positive for vulvodynia during the study, 239 completed 4 additional surveys. Of these, 23 (9.6%) had consistently positive vulvodynia screens, 121 (50.6%) remitted without relapse, and 95 (39.7%) relapsed following remission.

Overall, factors associated with both relapse and persistence (compared with remission alone) included increased severity of pain ever (p < 0.001) or after intercourse (p = 0.03), longer duration of symptoms (p ≤ 0.001), and screening positive for fibromyalgia (p < 0.001).

Factors associated with persistence (but not relapse) included more severe symptoms with intercourse (p = 0.001) and pain with oral sex (p = 0.003) or partner touch (p = 0.04). Factors associated with relapse (but not persistence) included having provoked pain (p = 0.001) or screening positive for interstitial cystitis (p = 0.05) at first positive vulvodynia screen. Demographic characteristics, age at pain onset, and whether vulvodynia was primary or secondary did not predict outcome.
CONCLUSION:

Remission of vulvodynia symptoms is common with approximately half of remitters experiencing a relapse within 6-30 months. Persistence without remission is the exception rather than the rule. Pain history and comorbid conditions were associated with the more severe outcomes of relapse and/or persistence compared with those who remitted only. These findings provide further support that vulvodynia is heterogeneous and often occurs in an episodic pattern.
 

Seanko

Well-Known Member
Yes, it's a common pattern in many chronic illness eg in friends with MS & Rheumatoid Arthritis too.

To improve or stabilise your condition needs a lot of discipline and favourable circumstances pacing yourself over a long period. On the other hand the relapses are all too easy to trigger and happen in a short period. :/
 

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