2019 News from the Research Team Articles

August 2019

Article Summary by IPPS Research Committee Member Dr. Laura Payne

Productivity Loss Due to Menstruation-Related Symptoms: A Nationwide Cross-sectional Survey Among 32,478 Women

Mark E. Schoep, Eddy M M Adang, Jacques W M Maas, Biance De Bie, Johnana W M Aarts, & Theodoor E Nieboer
BMJ Open (2019)

Summary:  Menstruation-related symptoms (MRSs) can include painful menstruation, pre-menstrual physical and emotional symptoms, as well as heavy bleeding or other uncomfortable physical symptoms. MRSs are a significant cause of productivity loss due to absence from work (absenteeism) and decreased productivity while at work (presenteeism). This study aimed to evaluate the burden of MRSs on a large sample of Dutch women, and also identify which specific symptoms had the biggest impact on absenteeism and presenteeism. Post-menarchal girls and women (ages 15-45) completed a series of questionnaires regarding MRSs, absenteeism and presenteeism over the previous 6 months. The authors reported that 13.8% of the sample reported absenteeism due to MRSs, which accounted for 22%-24% of total absenteeism from work and school, respectively. On the other hand, 80.7% reported presenteeism at work or school, and the average number of lost productive days each year was more than 7 times greater than the average number of lost productive days each year due to absenteeism. Pain emerged as a significant factor related to both absenteeism and presenteeism, with higher levels of reported pain (including headache, abdominal, and back pain) being associated with higher levels of both presenteeism and absenteeism. Additionally, younger women (age less than 21 years) reported higher levels of absenteeism and presenteeism compared to older women (age 21 years or older). Women in the study reported that greater flexibility in the workplace, such as doing less physical activity or working from home, or taking a full day off without consequences, would be beneficial for coping with MRSs. The authors suggest that future research should focus on how best to help women with MRSs to avoid productivity loss and reduce the overall impact of absenteeism and presenteeism on the public. 

Both presenteeism and absenteeism contribute to loss of productivity due to menstrual pain, and greater flexibility in work and school scheduling is needed, especially for younger women.

July 2019

Article Summary by IPPS Research Committee Member Dr. Georgine Lamvu, who is also the primary author

Patterns of Prescription Opioid Use in Women With Endometriosis: Evaluating Prolonged Use, Daily Dose, and Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines

Lamvu, Georgine, MD, MPH; Soliman, Ahmed M., PhD; Manthena, Shivaji R., MS; Gordon, Keith, PhD; Knight, Julie, PharmD; Taylor, Hugh S., MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019 June

Summary:  This was a retrospective large database analysis of 53,847 women diagnosed with endometriosis. Compared to matched controls, the women with endometriosis were almost 4 times more likely to fill an opioid prescription. Endometriosis was also associated with long term opioid use and concomitant benzodiazepine use.

Full article available HERE.

June 2019

Article Summary by IPPS Research Committee Members Dr. Douglas Sherlock and Dr. Georgine Lamvu 

Descriptors of Vulvodynia: A Multisocietal Definition Consensus (International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, the International Society for the Study of Women Sexual Health, and the International Pelvic Pain Society)

Jacob Bornstein, Mario Preti, James A. Simon, Sawsan As-Sanie, Colleen K. Stockdale, Amy Stein, Sharon J. Parish, Gianluigi Radici, Pedro Vieira-Baptista, Caroline Pukall, Micheline Moyal-Barracco, Andrew Goldstein, and on behalf of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD), the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS)
PubMed 2019 Apr 23

Summary:  The 2015 vulvodynia terminology and classification released by these three societies did not include definitions for the 11 descriptors that can be used when describing vulvodynia. This new publication is a guideline to consensus terminology to allow communication and research of Vulvar pain. Common causative etiologies are listed. The definition of vulvodynia (vulvar pain of 3 months duration with no identifiable cause) and the consensus descriptions are outlined including:

  1. Localized to the lower portion of the vulva (vestibule), clitoris, etc.
  2. Generalized involvement of the whole vulva
  3. Provoked by physical contact
  4. Spontaneous where the symptom can occur without provoking physical contact
  5. Primary onset where the symptoms occurs with first physical contact
  6. Secondary, where onset of symptoms did not occur with first provoking physical contact
  7. Temporal patters were defined as persistent, intermittent, immediate or delayed

An example description of adolescent congenital case may be localized, provoked, primary, persistent vulvodynia. This will be a helpful way to communicate the clinical case in a standard format. Additionally, there is a commitment of the organizations involved to review the terminology as more data are available.

Conclusion: Using the vulvar pain consensus terminology as outlined will allow for improved clinical and research communication. 

2019 Archived Research News

February 2019 

March 2019 

April 2019 

May 2019