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.

University of Surrey (Surrey, UK)

Subject: An explorative study of how people with vulval pain conditions experience online health information and online peer support groups

Contact: Harriet Farrell-Poulton, Undergraduate Sociology BSc student, University of Surrey. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Details and requirements: Do you have vulvodynia or vestibulodynia and use online health information or online support groups? If so, then please consider taking part in my research.

I am an undergraduate student in Sociology at the University of Surrey and for my dissertation research I am interested in exploring how people with vulvodynia or vestibulodynia experience online health information and/or online support groups. I would love to speak to people about their experiences; this would include 1 online interview lasting around 60 minutes.

All responses will be pseudonymised and treated confidentially.

To participate you must:

  •     have a medical or self-diagnosis of vulvodynia or vestibulodynia
  •     use online health information and/or online support groups
  •     be over 18 years old
  •     be sure that discussing your experiences will not cause you undue distress

This study has been granted ethical approval from the University of Surrey Ethics Committee. Ethics review reference: FASS 20-21 016 EGA.

If you are interested in taking part or want to find out more, please feel free to contact Harriet by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

(Correct as at 1 February 2021)

University of Sheffield (Sheffield, UK)

Subject: Can a 1-week online writing intervention improve body image in adults living with a dermatological condition?

Contact: Dr Kate Adkins (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Floor F, Cathedral Court, 1 Vicar Lane, Sheffield. S1 2LT. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Details and requirements: Do you have a vulval skin condition that affects how you feel about your body? If so please consider taking part in my research.

I am running an online Randomised Controlled Trial to test whether or not a brief online writing intervention could improve body image in adults with a range of conditions that affect the skin, including conditions that affect the vulva. This approach has already shown positive outcomes in women with body image concerns, and women with rheumatoid arthritis. The study has been designed with the input of several experts by experience living with a range of dermatological conditions.

To participate in this study, you will need to be aged 18 or over and live with a skin condition (e.g. lichen planus, lichen sclerosus, vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), cysts, herpes or dermatitis/eczema) which negatively affects how you feel about your body. Participation will involve completing three 15-minute writing exercises over the course of a week, as well as completing questionnaires about your condition and body image (before the first writing exercise, after the last writing exercise and one month later). The focus of the writing tasks will depend on whether you are randomly allocated to the intervention or an alternative set of writing tasks. At the end of the study you will be told whether you were allocated to the intervention or control. All participants completing the study will be able to download the intervention and enter a prize draw for a £50 voucher. 

Your responses will be anonymous and the study has been granted ethical approval by the University of Sheffield.

Website: You can read more and take part via: https://sheffieldpsychology.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5avZMk39cP4xCcd

Please get in touch via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you have any questions, are unsure of whether you meet the criteria, or want any further information.

(Correct as at 19 January 2021)

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)