PainRelief.com Interview with:
Sophie Bergeron, Ph.D.
Canada Research Chair in Intimate Relationships and Sexual Wellbeing
Past-President, Society for Sex Therapy and Research
Département de psychologie
Université de Montréal
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Chronic pain problems involving the female reproductive system are major health concerns in women of all ages. As conditions which are poorly understood and often misdiagnosed or ignored, they entail a great personal cost to patients and a significant financial cost to society.
One such condition is vulvodynia, or chronic unexplained vulvar pain. Up to 8% of women under 40 may experience idiopathic vulvar pain during their lifetimes. Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) – an acute recurrent pain localized within the vulvar vestibule and experienced primarily during sexual intercourse – is suspected to be the most frequent cause of vulvodynia in premenopausal women.
Despite its high prevalence and negative impact on psychosexual functioning of both affected women and their partners, there has been a paucity of controlled research to provide empirically validated treatments for afflicted couples. This randomized clinical trial compared a novel cognitive-behavioral couple therapy (CBCT) and topical lidocaine for PVD.