Low-level-laser therapy for the treatment of provoked vestibulodynia- A randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease (2015)  Volume 19, Number 3, Supplement 1, July 2015

Ahinoam Lev-Sagie, Asia Kopitman and Amnon Brzezinski

Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a complex disorder that is difficult to treat. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is an emerging medical technology where non-thermal laser irradiation is directly applied to treat pain. The objective of this randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial was to investigate effectiveness of LLLT for PVD. Thirty four patients with PVD participated, 18 received LLLT and 16 received placebo. Treatment duration was twice weekly for 6 weeks. Clinical response was assessed by multiple outcome measures including patient verbal report, visual analog scale (VAS), Q-tip test, tampon test, variable daily pain measures and sexual function parameters assessed using a daily 24-hour pain diary, quality-of-life questionnaires including the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Neuropathic Pain Scale (NPS). Patients were followed for one year. Groups were comparable in regards to demographic and clinical characteristics. Seventy eight percent of patients reported moderate to complete improvement following LLLT compared with 44% in the placebo group (p=0.042).  We conclude that treatment by LLLT safely and effectively reduced the symptoms of PVD. This effect was only apparent when patient verbal reports where evaluated. Further studies with a larger population and various treatment protocols are warranted.

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