About this project
Chronic vulvovaginal pain is prevalent among women and one common complaint is pain during sex. It is associated with lower sexual function, psychological and relational wellbeing, and quality of life among both women and partners. Previous research has pointed to the significance of communication within pain couples and this project is focused on one aspect of communication: validation and invalidation. Validation means to express empathy and acceptance of another’s experiences, whereas invalidation means to dismiss them or downplay their significance. We are interested in if validation/invalidation are equally common in couples with and without pain, and if there is an association with aspects of the pain and the relationship. To answer these questions, we observe couples discussing their sexual relationship, and ask them to complete questionnaires about pain, sexual function, communication, and relationship qualities.