Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Managing threats to femininity: Personal and interpersonal experience of living with vulval pain

Marriott, Claire and Thompson, Andrew R. ORCID: 2008. Managing threats to femininity: Personal and interpersonal experience of living with vulval pain. Psychology and Health 23 (2) , pp. 243-258. 10.1080/14768320601168185

Full text not available from this repository.


Women living with vulval pain can experience psychosocial difficulties. The current study explores the meaning and impact of vulval pain using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Interviews were conducted with eight women. Three overlapping super-ordinate themes emerged: (1) loss of femininity/sexual identity, (2) centrality of sex within relationships and (3) uncertainty surrounding the diagnosis. The participants here did not report the actual pain as being the central issue rather they felt the condition affected their sense of femininity, which was perceived in many ways as analogous to loss of sexual identity. Although they often avoided sexual contact, they also reported deep concern about the sexual needs of their partners and consequently often prioritised their partners, needs over their own in order to regain both their femininity and avoid anticipated rejection. The results indicate that the meaning the vulval pain had on the identity and relationships of the participants is the central concern in coping with this condition. These psychosocial factors need to be considered alongside existing medical management by health care professionals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0887-0446
Date of Acceptance: 13 December 2006
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:48

Citation Data

Cited 50 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item