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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-119

Vulvar and vaginal graft versus host disease: Ahealthcare clinic initiative

1 Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
2 Psychiatry Department and Nursing Administration, Hemato-Oncology Division, Hemodialysis Units, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel
3 School of Nursing, The Hadassah and the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Naomi Van Dam
Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon_6_17

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Objective: In patients receiving bone marrow transplantation (BMT), their mucosa becomes altered and sclerotic changes in the female external genital organs occur. Although a few studies have specifically addressed vulvar and vaginal graft versus host disease(VVGvHD) and its repercussions on the sexual health and quality of life of patients, VVGvHD can be overlooked by health practitioners. The objective of the study is to describe the initiation of a health care clinic specializing in VVGvHD in a general tertiary hospital. Methods: A VVGvHD clinic was founded as a part of BMT daycare in a joint initiative of the nursing staff and the medical director of the department and a gynecologist specializing in vulva and vaginal disease. Patients were assessed for vulvovaginal symptoms, such as dryness, burning, itching, pain to touch, pain during intercourse, and dysuria. These patients might be subsequently referred to the VVGvHD clinic according to their needs assessed by daycare nurses. Treatment guidelines were developed by the specialist gynecologist. Results: A total of 81 women aged 2–66years(median age=38years) visited the clinic from 2009 to 2015. Of these women, 70 received an allogeneic transplant and 11 underwent autologous transplantation before consultation in our clinic. VVGvHD was detected in 54% of the patients. Conclusions: The VVGvHD clinic was developed to fulfill the specific needs of female patients who underwent BMT. The pioneer clinic was founded as a joint effort of the multidisciplinary team. Evidence supporting the optimum treatment for this condition is insufficient. This was the main reason for performing this study to explore the clinic that was newly based in Israel. VVGvHD may be a fluctuating condition with frequent deterioration and improvement. Therefore, regular clinical examinations are necessary.

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