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Publication: Evaluation of the Tampon Test in Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD)


As part of the ProLoVe project, we published a mixed methods study where the tampon test was evaluated as a primary outcome for PVD, in preparation for an upcoming randomized clinical trial.


Many women with PVD abstain from sexual intercourse due to severe pain brought on by penetrative sex. The standardized tampon test was designed as an alternative outcome measure to sexual intercourse pain. In the first study phase, pain intensity was evaluated with the tampon test using the Numerical Rating Scale (0-10). In the second phase, the participant’s experiences with the test were explored with interviews. This study indicates several potential problems with the application of the test as a primary outcome measure in PVD. The tampon test may underestimate pain intensity in some women with PVD and many women experienced the test as a poor representation of pain during intercourse.


Authors: Mette Bøymo Kaarbø, Kristine Grimen Danielsen, Gro Killi Haugstad, Anne Lise Ording Helgesen and Slawomir Wojniusz


Published: May 06, 2021 in Journal of Sexual Medicine.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2021.03.010