Positive Goals Benefit Couples Coping with PVD
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For couples facing provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), "approach goals" that focus on positive outcomes contribute to greater sexual satisfaction, according to Canadian researchers.
In contrast, "avoidance goals" geared toward avoiding a negative outcome lead to less satisfaction.
PVD refers to pain or discomfort in a woman's vulvar vestibule area, around the perimeter of the vaginal opening. Women feel burning or stinging sensations whenever the area is touched, which can make sexual activity problematic.
One hundred seven couples coping with PVD participated in the study. The women were premenopausal with an average age of 28 years.
The research team found that women who focused on approach goals, like pleasing their partner and enjoying intimacy, reported more satisfaction with their sex lives and relationships.
However, women with avoidance goals, such as deflecting an argument, experienced less satisfaction. They also had slightly lower sexual functioning and were more likely to be depressed.
Neither type of goal seemed to affect pain, however.
The study was first published online in July in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Please click here for more details.