Podcast and transcript now available for 'Airing Pain' programme on vulvodynia

Link to podcast for Airing Pain Programme 87: Vulvodynia

If you missed the recent Airing Pain radio programme on vulvodynia, you can now access the audio podcast from the Pain Concern website. Pain Concern's thirty-minute programme features Dr Winston de Mello, Dr David Nunns and Dr Rebekah Shallcross talking about vulvodynia.

A transcript of the programme is available on the VPS website if this is more convenient.

For more information on the programme and the interviewees, click on the 'Read more' link below.

Pain Concern have very kindly sent us the following description of Airing Pain Programme 87:

Airing Pain Programme 87: Vulvodynia

From diagnosis difficulties to defining gender: the effects of vulvodynia on women today

This edition has been funded by a grant from the Women’s Fund For Scotland.


Vulvodynia is a nerve-based pain, often described as a burning or stinging sensation, which affects the vulva. 1 in 7 women are estimated to experience vulvodynia at some stage during their life and the condition can be very distressing to live with, impacting on everything from clothing choices to relationships.

Dr Winston de Mello explains why many women with vulvodynia experience difficulties on the path to diagnosis and why GPs under pressure create a 'postcode lottery' for those in pain without any visible symptoms.

Dr Rebekah Shallcross describes what she found in her research into women’s experiences of vulvodynia, including sexist treatment by some healthcare professionals, a lack of awareness of the condition within the medical community and the stigma associated with genital pain. The role played by penetrative sex in social constructions of female identity can create feelings of guilt and shame in patients with vulvodynia where physical intimacy is problematised by pain, feelings which Dr Shallcross links with historical gender inequality and patriarchal attitudes towards sex.

Gynaecology consultant Dr David Nunns discusses the importance of the 'four Ps' in patient treatment and improving the lives of those with vulvodynia: patient education, pain modification, physiotherapy and psychological support. Plus the importance of discourse in raising awareness and reducing pain and associated stress.


  • Dr Winston de Mello, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester
  • Dr Rebekah Shallcross, trainee clinical psychologist and a research associate at the University of Manchester
  • Dr David Nunns, gynaecology consultant at Nottingham City Hospital. He is a trustee of the Vulval Pain Society.    

More information

For more information and support on vulvodynia, visit the Vulval Pain Society at www.vulvalpainsociety.org.