The purpose of this study is to better understand the links that exist between genital pain, sexuality and other interpersonal and psychological factors, for women with PVD and their intimate partners. Answers to these questions may help us to develop more effective treatments for couples experiencing this frustrating and disruptive problem.
Who can participate
- Women (or female-bodied individuals) aged 18 to 45 years, suffering from vulvo-vaginal pain, and their partners (aged 18 or older).
- Women with vulvo-vaginal pain must receive a diagnosis of Provoked Vestibulodynia (recurrent vulvar pain) from our study gynecologist.
- Couples must be cohabitating and/or been together as a couple for at least 3 months. If not cohabitating, the couple must have at least 4 in-person contacts per week.
- Couples have been sexually active as a couple as least once per month in the last 3 months (includes any of the following: vaginal penetration, oral, or manual stimulation)
- Have daily internet access
- Have the ability to read, write, and speak English fluently
What we will ask you to do
Eligible couples will be invited to come to the Couples and Sexual Health Laboratory at Dalhousie University to attend an orientation session and to complete questionnaires, which will take 1.5 to 2 hours, .
Women with genital pain will attend a gynecological examination with our study gynecologist to diagnose the pain condition.
After the above two steps are completed, we will send you and your partner a brief online survey, to be completed every night for 8 weeks. On days when you and your partner do not engage in sexual activity, this will take about 5 minutes to complete. On days when you and your partner engage in sexual activity, this will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
What are the benefits to participating in this study?
Participation involves NO health risks and your confidentiality and anonymity are assured.
In addition to providing important information that will help us to improve treatments for PVD, you may also begin to notice certain patterns or behaviours that contribute to the increase or decrease of pain as a part of completing these daily questionnaires. Increasing attention to your behaviours often a starting point for effective interventions with PVD couples.
To thank you for your participation, we will also provide compensation for your time.
Following participation, participants will receive educational feedback, including treatment referrals and self-help resources.
For more information, or to participate, contact us using the form below.
This study is directed by Dr. Natalie Rosen, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The research is currently being funded by an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.