Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Let’s talk about sex -- And pain

12.07.2002


Dr. Irv Binik investigates pain during intercourse

For some women sex can be uncomfortable. For others it can be downright painful. Dr. Irv Binik, a Psychology professor at McGill and director of the Royal Victoria Sex and Couples Therapy Service is trying to ease the pain. He has been studying the problem of sex-associated pain in women, paying particular attention to two recurrent acute conditions, pain during or after intercourse (dyspareunia) and involuntary spasms of the vagina (vaginismus).

"At the hospital I saw an unusually large number of women all complaining of pain during intercourse," says Dr. Binik of how he got involved in such research. But it was one particular patient who really alerted him to the problem. She had come to him in pain and was exasperated by the suggestion that she should consult yet another gynecologist. Dr. Binik remembers the encounter: "I said, she’s absolutely right. Why am I sending her to a gynecologist? I am a psychologist, I’m supposed to know about pain."

Dr. Binik soon found out that women who experience pain during intercourse have very few options. "I basically learned that there was almost no research, almost no clinical intervention. People assumed it was a physical problem or a sexual problem. Nobody focused on the pain." So with the help of some devoted graduate students and an open-minded McGill gynecologist (Dr. Samir Khalifé), Dr. Binik set out to delve more deeply into the topic.

"I think we quickly realized that we needed to stop trying to reduce the pain either to something physical or to something psychological. It wasn’t right to consider it only as something sexual either." Instead, Dr. Binik and his team have tried to examine the problem from all sides, focusing specifically on the pain itself. "The main issue is pain and our first step has to be to learn more about it."

Many in the mental health profession generally consider this disorder in a sexual context. The same sort of pain can be simulated in sufferers during non-sexual situations, but Dr. Binik notes: "an integral problem for these women is with their partners and intercourse and sex." They can get around gynecological exams, using tampons and so on but the issue of sex itself is hard to ignore.

So what can these women do to find relief? "We typically recommend a combination of cognitive behavioral pain management and physical therapy," says Dr. Binik. When there is not adequate pain relief, surgery may be recommended. But Dr. Binik believes the critical issue is to get away from defining this type of pain by the type of activity with which it interferes.

Thanks to researchers like Dr. Binik, the Sex and Couples Therapy Service at the Royal Victoria Hospital has become a major centre. Along with initiating discussion about the painful topic of painful sex, Dr. Binik is also working on getting his patients out of the clinic and back into the bedroom - where he hopes couples will be able to change their talk from pain to pillow.

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with McGill pain researchers whose investigations are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The project, carried out in cooperation with The McGill Office for Chemistry and Society, aims to highlight recent advances in the study of pain. Permission is granted to reprint in whole or in part.

Irving Binik | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Remdesivir prevents MERS coronavirus disease in monkeys
14.02.2020 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Recent advances in addressing tuberculosis give hope for future
12.02.2020 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

Im Focus: New coronavirus module in SORMAS

HZI-developed app for disease control is expanded to stop the spread of the pathogen

At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electric solid propellant -- can it take the heat?

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Pitt study uncovers new electronic state of matter

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>