A Necessary Multi-Parametric Evaluation of Vulvodynia

You may be able to participate if:iStock_000022199003_Medium.jpg

1. You are between 21-65

2. You have had a gynecological surgery at least six months ago or longer with an onset of persistent pain afterwards.

3. You have been diagnosed by your doctor with VVS and/or experience pain in the vaginal region upon contact (e.g. intercourse, tampon insertion, pelvic pain). Or you have no prior history of pain with intercourse or pain on contact

Study Overview

  • The research study involves undergoing sensory testing and a modified gynecological exam
  • Will require 2 visits to the Center for Neurosensory Disorders
  • Participants will receive up to $200 for complete participation


To get a better understanding of a chronic pain syndrome called vulvodynia, or pain in the vulvar (pelvic) region. As many as 14 million women ages 18-64 have vulvovaginal pain. Up to 60% may see three or more doctors before receiving a diagnosis. Vulvodynia is thought to result from inflamed or irritated vulvar skin, but the current diagnosis does not account for muscle pain. It is also common for women with vulvodynia to have intense pain and emotional distress.

The purpose of this study will look at the combination of pain from skin and muscle as well as emotional distress to help us better define vulvodynia.

1. To explore your thoughts and feelings about pain and about your life in two ways. 1) survey questions about your personality, mood, pain coping strategies, and the like; and 2) tests of different physical sensations (pressure, heat and cold, and buzz-like vibration and electrical pulses) applied to your thumbnail, forearm and vulvar skin and muscles.

2. To develop a better classification system for vulvodynia to improve your doctor's ability to diagnose and treat women who have vulvodynia.