Painful sex / dyspareunia due to vaginismus, vulvodynia, menopause, endometriosis, lichen sclerosus

Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)

Men's experiences of their partner's pain during sexual intercourse

Thank you for your interest in this study. My name is Debbie Lovell and I am completing this research as part of my Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in the Department of Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol.   


Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) has only received research attention in the last two decades. Most of this research has focussed on women. Whilst understanding women's experiences is hugely important, sex is an interpersonal experience and much less is known about the experience of women's partners.  The aim of this research is to better understand how men make sense of and respond to their partner's sexual pain and to increase our knowledge of how men view pain during sexual intercourse influencing the sexual relationship and the relationship in general. The research will be used to better inform therapeutic practice for both individuals and the couple and enhance support for anyone seeking help.  


Who can participate?

Men over the age of 18, who are resident in the UK, and have been in a relationship with a woman suffering from pain during sexual intercourse or that prevents sexual intercourse. The woman may have received a diagnosis such as vaginismus, vulvodynia, endometriosis, lichen sclerosis; experience pain due to menopause; may not have started any medical investigations or may be in the process of seeking  help. The pain must have been present for 6 months or more. The relationship may be current or in the past. 


What does participation involve?

There are two ways to participate:

1. By completing an anonymous online survey.  Answers to questions are written in participant's own words, rather than ticking boxes (apart from some demographic questions that  allow me to understand a little about who is taking part)  It will take around 30 minutes depending on how much is written.  

Click Here to go to the survey


2. Via an interview. Interviews can be done either on the phone, video call or possibly in person. They typically take around 60 minutes.

Click here to discuss being interviewed.


This research is governed by robust policies and procedures to protect your anonymity. It has been approved by the Faculty Research committee, reference number HAS.18.07.208


Go directly to the survey or contact me to discuss being interviewed.