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AUDIO: Dr. Pukall, What Is Vulvodynia?

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Dr. Caroline F. Pukall, Assistant Professor at Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada explains vulvodynia.

Dr. Pukall and Todd Hartley:

Where do the nation’s leading doctors go to share the best health information? The same place you do: EmpowHer.com. From the EmpowHer.com studios, here is Todd Hartley.

Todd Hartley:
Hi, and thank you for joining us on the EmpowHer Network. Well, let’s go right now to Canada and speak with Dr. Caroline Pukall. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Todd Hartley:
Hi, doctor.

Dr. Caroline Pukall:
Hi, how are you?

Todd Hartley:
I am doing great. Thank you for joining us to help us empower women.

Dr. Caroline Pukall:
Thank you very much for having me. I love to empower women as much as possible.

Todd Hartley:
Let’s talk about vulvodynia. Exactly, what is it?

Dr. Caroline Pukall:
Okay, well, vulvodynia is essentially chronic genital pain. It is typically restricted to the external genitals, otherwise known as the vulva of women. Typically, in order to have the diagnosis of vulvodynia, all other potential causes of this genital pain such as infections or inflammations must be ruled out. And so just to make that clear, in order to receive or to give a diagnosis of vulvodynia, one must rule out all other physical causes for the pain. And so this label of vulvodynia is essentially reserved for women who do not have any medically explained reasons for having this external pain on their genital region. And typically, people will diagnose this once the woman has undergone many different tests to check for any potential causes, and no potential causes can be found, and the pain is limited to the external part of the vulva, typically described as burning or stinging, irritating or raw. And it typically should last about six months in order to receive this diagnosis.

Todd Hartley:
Well, she is Dr. Caroline Pukall. She is the Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Doctor, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Caroline Pukall:
Thank you.

Your healthy podcast is brought to you by EmpowHer.com, that’s E-M-P-O-W-H-E-R.COM.


Vulvodynia is defined as “vulvar discomfort, most often described as burning pain, occurring in the absence of relevant visible findings or a specific, clinically identifiable, neurologic disorder.” Vulvodynia affects an estimated 16% of women in the general population. There are two major types of vulvodynia that are based on pain location. The first is localized vulvodynia, in which pain is restricted to a portion of the vulva, such as the vestibule, as in vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS). The second is generalized vulvodynia (GVD), in which the pain is more diffuse, involving

Visit Dr. Caroline Pukall at ]]>Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada]]>.

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