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AUDIO: Dr. Pukall, Where Is The Vulvodynia Pain Located?

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Dr. Caroline Pukall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada explains where most women feel the vestibulodynia pain and how it is best described.

Dr. Pukall and Todd Hartley:

Where do the nation’s leading doctors go to share the best health information? The same place you do: EmpowHer.com. From the EmpowHer.com studios, here is Todd Hartley.

Todd Hartley:
Dr. Caroline Pukall is with me; she is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Pukall, when we’re talking about vulvodynia, exactly where is that pain? How was it described like if it was on a clock or something, can you explain that for us?

Dr. Pukall:
Yes, and so the type of vulvodynia that we’re discussing is vestibulodynia which is typically characterized as pain during sexual intercourse that is limited to the vaginal opening. This vaginal opening part is called the vulvar vestibule and essentially, the vulvar vestibule is a small part of the vaginal opening. It is round, and so if we think of this area as a clock face, many women will report that the worst pain that they experience is in sort of the 3 to the 9 o’clock area of the vulvar vestibule. Some people argue that this area is the most painful because of the heightened muscle tension that occurs behind the tissue and a lot of people really say that this is the posterior portion of the vulvar vestibule is the area of pain in these women who have this condition. However, I conducted studies in this area and certainly many women report that the 3 to 9 o’clock location is the worst area of pain, and I think a lot of this may be due to the facts of the physics of some of the sexual positions that are being used in that lower portion of the vestibule is being stretched more than the top part. On self-report, many women will report this, but when you actually measure pain sensitivity around the clock’s face, the pain sensitivity seems to be quite consistent between the top and the bottom part of the vulvar vestibule.

Todd Hartley:
Well, she is Dr. Caroline Pukall. You can find her at the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Pukall, thank you so much.

Dr. Pukall:
Thank you.

Your healthy podcast is brought to you by EmpowHer.com, that’s E-M-P-O-W-H-E-R.COM.

For more information on Dr. Caroline Pukall visit Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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