Report from the Liverpool Vulval Pain Society workshop held at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, 16 May 2009

A VPS workshop was held in Liverpool on 16 May 2009 at the invitation of Dr John Kirwan. Dr Kirwan is a Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist working at the Royal Liverpool Hospital and runs the vulval clinic service there. There was a feeling amongst the clinicians there that a workshop would be of local benefit, hence the invitation. Around 25 women and several partners attended the day and there were talks on the diagnosis of vulval diseases, vulvodynia management and treatment. All this information is included in our website pages. The guest speaker was a local osteopath called Gersende Langlume and she focused on the osteopathic approach to treating vulval pain. Some women develop vulval pain because of referred pain from the lower part of the coccyx (tail bone of the spine). For some reason either injury or 'wear and tear', slight movement of the coccyx bone can produce referred pain to the vulva (or penis as men can develop the same problem). Treatment is therefore needed to correct the coccyx position and manipulate it to its original position! Gersende Langlume is one of a few osteopaths who carry out coccygeal manipulation for vulval pain. From our own research this article is an example of what the procedure might entail although in this reference they are using the technique for coccyx pain. Can this technique help? There is little research into this area, but anecdotally patients have improved with treatment. Finding a practitioner locally (osteopath or chiropractor) might be a good start, and then discussing with them the information given in www.coccyx.org. Many practitioners will not offer this type of treatment (in the same way that some doctors do not know about vulval pain), but some may. A good practitioner should be able to discuss with you whether this procedure is in their repertoire of treatment, and if not, whether they can suggest someone who can offer it?

If you would like to come to a workshop then please keep an eye on our Meetings and Workshops page. If you would like us to come to your area (we are not London based) then we will consider it! Up-to-date information is always requested at workshops so see the research pages on this site.