Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quality of life for couples can be improved despite PVD

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
Universite de Montreal
Summary:
Spouses who regulate their emotions together in a satisfactory manner are more fulfilled sexually, psychologically, and relationally, among couples in which the woman has provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), also known as “vulvar vestibulitis". PVD is characterized by often chronic pain felt on the "vestibule," or entrance of the vagina, especially during penetration. The pain is usually burning in sensation. This pain, for which causes are unknown, affects 12% to 15% of women of childbearing age.

Spouses who regulate their emotions together in a satisfactory manner are more fulfilled sexually, psychologically, and relationally, among couples in which the woman has provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), also known as "vulvar vestibulitis." This was discovered by Nayla Awada, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the Universitι de Montrιal, in a study which she conducted with 254 couples in which the woman was diagnosed with PVD. PVD is characterized by often chronic pain felt on the "vestibule," or entrance of the vagina, especially during penetration. The pain is usually burning in sensation. This pain, for which causes are unknown, affects 12% to 15% of women of childbearing age.

Significant impact

The pain caused by PVD has significant sexual and psychological consequences. On the one hand, affected women have greater anxiety, psychological distress, and depression. On the other hand, the pain greatly decreases a woman's ability to achieve orgasm, as well as desire and arousal, which generally causes a decrease in the frequency of sexual relations.

Awada wanted to examine how couples who are better able to regulate their emotions are more satisfied relationally, psychologically, and sexually, compared to couples who are ambivalent in their expression of emotions. First, using a pain assessment questionnaire, she observed that women in her sample suffered from PVD for more than five years on average, illustrating the chronic nature of this type of pain. She then distributed a questionnaire to both partners of couples to measure the degree of ambivalence in each partner's ability to express his or her emotions in various situations.

"Ambivalence in expressing emotions indicates oneself dissatisfaction with the way one expresses emotions," says Awada. "The more ambivalent you are, the less you are able to communicate your emotions satisfactorily, and the more you are likely to be uncomfortable with your partner." For example, when angry individuals avoid talking so as not to be misunderstood, or express themselves more aggressively than they intended to, they are communicating ambivalently. In Awada's study, these situations are associated with a more difficult adaptation to the pain in the couples. "In addition, ambivalence of both partners is related to greater emotional distress and more sexual and relational difficulties in the couples," says Awada.

Lastly, the researcher found that when at least one of the partners is ambivalent in expressing his or her emotions, the couple is more likely to experience relational dissatisfaction and psychological distress. Furthermore, it seems that ambivalent women have greater vestibular pain compared to less ambivalent women. Therefore, links between a better emotional regulation and pain need to be further examined in this population. "Communicating well does not necessarily mean saying everything, but rather that each partner is consistent with his or her needs," she says. This may mean "negotiating" sexual activities, such as having relations without penetration, which does not prevent one from having a satisfying sexual intimacy.

Clinical applications

According to Awada, the study she conducted is the first to focus on emotional regulation in the management of sexual pain in couples. "Emotional regulation has been addressed in studies on chronic pain in a broader sense, but not for pain occurring during sexual intercourse, which is nevertheless frequent and a source of great distress," says Awada, who is currently completing a specialized internship in chronic pain in order to enrich her clinical understanding of this problem.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universite de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nayla Awada, Sophie Bergeron, Marc Steben, Victoria-Ann Hainault, Pierre McDuff. To Say or not to Say: Dyadic Ambivalence over Emotional Expression and Its Associations with Pain, Sexuality, and Distress in Couples Coping with Provoked Vestibulodynia. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12463

Cite This Page:

Universite de Montreal. "Quality of life for couples can be improved despite PVD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331083603.htm>.
Universite de Montreal. (2014, March 31). Quality of life for couples can be improved despite PVD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331083603.htm
Universite de Montreal. "Quality of life for couples can be improved despite PVD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331083603.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins