Provoked Vestibulodynia—Women's Experience of Participating in a Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program


Leslie Sadownik, MD, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of British Columbia, 6th Floor, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, Canada V5Z 1M9. Tel: (604) 875-4260; Fax: (604) 875-4869; E-mail:


Introduction.  Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD) is the most common cause of pain with intercourse that affects reproductively aged women. The treatment outcome literature suggests that existing treatments, when administered individually, may have only limited benefits for improving pain, and that multidisciplinary approaches may be more effective for reducing pain and pain-associated distress. A program that offers education, group cognitive behavioral therapy, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and medical appointments was developed and implemented at our hospital site.

Aim.  To explore the experiences of women who participated in the Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program (MVP) in order to identify the perceived benefits of this program.

Methods.  Qualitative retrospective study. A semi-structured interview format was used to interview graduates of the MVP. Nineteen women, mean age 30.8 (20–54 years), participated in a one-on-one in-depth interview with a trained interviewer. The key question asked was “What has been the impact of the MVP on your life?” Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and qualitatively analyzed for major themes.

Main Outcome Measure.  Content analysis of interview transcripts.

Results.  Five main themes emerged and included: increased knowledge, gained tools/skills, perceived improved mood/psychological well-being, a sense of validation and support, and an enhanced sense of empowerment.

Conclusion.  Overall, a multidisciplinary vulvodynia program was perceived as being beneficial for women with PVD. Sadownik LA, Seal BN, and Brotto LA. Provoked vestibulodynia—Women's experience of participating in a multidisciplinary vulvodynia program. J Sex Med 12;9:1086–1093.