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Natasha Orr, PhD Student
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Endometriosis is a gynaecologic condition that affects 10% of women, and 50% of those women have deep dyspareunia (pelvic pain with deep penetration during sexual activity). This pain negatively affects sexual function and relationships. Factors that play a role in deep dyspareunia may be peripheral (e.g., location of endometriotic nodules) and/or central (e.g., pathological sensitization at the level of the brain and spinal cord).
As a doctoral student, I am leading two studies: one to validate the role of somatic mutations in endometriosis deep dyspareunia, and a second to assess the relationship between central sensitization (amplification of pain) and deep dyspareunia in women with endometriosis using a prospective longitudinal design. Bridging together my research findings on the multifactorial causes of sexual pain with integrated knowledge translation techniques, I will be able to engage our patients, and our research team to create animated videos to educate women on these findings. The videos will translate up-to-date information about potential causes of sexual pain to patients and their partners.