A Brief Communication From Myriam Pâquet, First Author

A recent study conducted in our laboratory examined the daily mood of couples in which women were diagnosed with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) (pain at the entrance of the vagina during sexual intercourse). We wanted to know if both partners’ daily anxiety or depressive symptoms influenced women’s pain and couples’ sexual well-being. To do so, 127 women with PVD and their partners independently completed daily electronic diaries with questions regarding mood, pain during sexual intercourse, sexual function and sexual distress.  

What did we find?

Results showed that on sexual activity days, when women reported feeling more anxious and depressed, they perceived their pain during sexual intercourse to be greater, they reported lower sexual function and they experienced more distress regarding their sexuality. On the partners’ side, on sexual activity days when they reported feeling more anxious or depressed, they experienced more sexual distress and so did women.

Therefore, finding ways to reduce both partners’ daily anxious and depressed feelings may be beneficial for the pain, your sexuality and your relationship!

For more details we invite you to read the full paper.

Pâquet, M., Rosen, N.O., Mayrand, M. H., Steben, M. Santerre-Baillargeon, M., & Bergeron, S. (2018). Daily anxiety and depressive symptoms in couples coping with vulvodynia: Associations with women’s pain, women’s sexual function and both partners’ sexual distress. Journal of Pain. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2017.12.264

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