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 July 29, 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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