Current research requiring participants

The studies listed below are actively looking for English-speaking participants from the UK and, in the case of the international studies, other countries as well. For details and updates on studies previously listed in this section which no longer appear here as they are now closed to new participants, please see Older studies.

Important!

Whilst the VPS is keen to encourage women suffering with vulvodynia to actively participate in research whenever possible, we would advise that any such participation is at your own risk. Where the research is of a practical or physical nature such as the trialling of drugs or other physical therapies, we strongly urge you to consult your GP or other medical practitioner before signing up, in order to ensure your own safety and compatibility with your existing treatment plan. With online studies, the VPS cannot take any responsibility for the security of the details you provide in internet surveys, and we recommend you contact the researcher directly if you need more information about arrangements for data protection. Queries or concerns about other aspects of the studies should also be raised directly with the researcher, as they will be best placed to answer them.

Searchable online databases of studies and clinical trials

If none of the studies listed here are suitable or of interest, you may be able to find others by searching the databases contained at NHS Choices Clinical Trials and the UK Clinical Trials Gateway, or alternatively, at the ISRCTN registry. NHS Choices also provides a great deal of very useful information about the research process itself, including safeguards for participants, plus real life stories from people who have participated in research.

*We are grateful to the National Vulvodynia Association for their permission to reproduce these studies from the NVA website.

London Metropolitan University (London, UK)

Subject: Do women with pelvic pain have lower self-esteem than women with other chronic pain conditions?

Contact: Sarah Regan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB.

Details and requirements: The study is a Psychology of Mental Health postgraduate research project on the psychological impact of pelvic pain, focusing on self-esteem as well as mental health aspects such as depression and anxiety. The aim of the work will be to find out how pelvic pain affects the self and how it relates to sexual distress.

The study takes the form of an anonymous online survey which should take around 15 minutes to complete.  Confidentiality will be protected at all times and all information provided to the researcher will be stored securely. Study responses will only be used in the completion of the study and will not be shared to any third parties.

To participate in the study, you need to suffer from a pelvic pain condition such as vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids or other pelvic condition.

Website: The online survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5CLRYTH.

(Correct as at 3 July 2017)

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Subject: Vulvar Pain and Eating Behaviours: A Mixed Methods Study

Contact: Sonia Milani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , tel (+1) 604-313-3055

Requirements and details: Do you experience vulvar pain in response to genital touch? Contribute to research examining vulvar pain and sexuality by participating in a UBC web-based survey. The main purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between eating behaviours and sexual functioning, particularly with respect to chronic genital pain. In addition, we are examining how differences in personality and psychosocial factors are related to various measures of sexual functioning. Participation in this study involves filling out an online questionnaire, which can be completed from home and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. The questionnaire contains questions about your sexual functioning, and your experiences with genital pain in particular. In addition, you will be asked questions pertaining to your self-esteem and body image, as well as your eating habits and attitudes towards food. There are also items that inquire about your demographics. This research will eventually be used to inform the creation of a treatment intervention for women struggling with sexual pain. By participating in this study, you are eligible to enter a draw to win 1 of 5 $100 Visa gift cards.

Website: You can directly access the survey through the following link: https://redcap.mobilityandhealth.ca/redcap/surveys/?s=NMWW3M94YL

(Correct as at 13 June 2017)

Université de Montréal (Montréal, Québec, Canada)

Subject: Interpersonal goals in women with vulvodynia and their partners: a daily experience study*

Contact: Mylène Desrosiers, Research Coordinator, tel (+1) 514-343-6111 ext 47688, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Requirements: The Women’s Sexual Health Laboratory (Université de Montréal) and the Couple & Sexual Health Laboratory (Dalhousie University) are currently recruiting couples in which the woman suffers from vulvovaginal pain. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of interpersonal sexual goals between both partners on women’s pain, as well as the impact upon the psychological and sexual adjustment of each member in the couple. As participants in this research project, women suffering from pain during sexual intercourse will take part in a diagnostic gynecological examination, and couples will take part in structured interviews and complete questionnaires. Eligible couples that agree to participate shall complete daily journals on the Internet for a period of two months. Financial compensation is provided. This project is approved by the Research Ethics Committee of CHUM and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the Université de Montréal and the IWK Health Centre Research Ethics Board, and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

(Correct as at 22 February 2015)

Université de Montréal (Montréal, Québec, Canada)

Subject: A comparison of cognitive-behavioural couple therapy and lidocaine in the treatment of provoked vestibulodynia: a randomized clinical trial*

Contact: Mylène Desrosiers, Research Coordinator, tel (+1) 514-613-6111 ext 47688, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Requirements: The Women’s Sexual Health Laboratory (Université de Montréal) and Couple & Sexual Health Laboratory (Dalhousie University) are currently recruiting couples in which the woman experiences pain during sexual intercourse for a treatment study. The purpose of this randomized clinical trial is to evaluate the efficacy of a recently-developed, 12-week couples therapy (Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy) for women suffering from vulvodynia and one of the most commonly prescribed front-line medical interventions, (i.e. topical lidocaine). As participants in this research project, women suffering from pain during sexual intercourse will take part in a diagnostic gynecological examination, and couples will take part in structured interviews and complete questionnaires. Eligible couples that agree to participate will be randomly assigned to one of the two treatment options, and will be asked to complete self-report questionnaires and structured interviews following completion of the treatment, as well as 6 months after treatment completion. This project is approved by the Research Ethics Committee of CHUM and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the Université de Montréal and the IWK Health Centre Research Ethics Board, and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

(Correct as at 22 February 2015)

McGill University (Montréal, Québec, Canada)

Subject: An online study on clitorodynia*

Contact: Mayte Parada at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , tel (+1) 514-398-5323

Requirements: A group of researchers at McGill University is seeking women who experience clitoral pain (clitorodynia) to participate in an online study designed to collect demographic information, assess pain symptoms, and potential causes of this important women's health issue. If you believe you suffer from this problem or have been diagnosed with clitorodynia and would like to participate we would like your help. Participation includes a 30-minute online questionnaire that includes demographic information, gynecological/medical history, and sexual functioning. No pain will be experienced or health risks posed. All personal information is strictly confidential and will not be shared with third parties. Participants will be entered into a raffle for one of two gift cards from Amazon.com (odds are approximately 1 in 100).

Website: You can directly access the survey through the following link: http://goo.gl/ob2Zg.

(VPS note: please be aware that this survey contains a diagram of the vulva which may not be 'safe for work'.)

(Correct as at 13 February 2015)