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Current Issue

NIH Funds New Clinical Trial

Description: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has awarded its first vulvodynia research grant of the year to Drs. Candace Brown, David Foster and Gloria Bachmann, who will investigate the effectiveness of oral gabapentin in reducing the painful symptoms of Provoked Vestibulodynia (PVD, aka vulvar vestibulitis syndrome). Although gabapentin was originally indicated for the treatment of epilepsy, studies have shown that it can reduce the severity and constancy of neuropathic pain, muscle spasm and anxiety.

This 16-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 120 women aims to determine if PVD patients experience less vestibular pain with tampon insertion and during intercourse when treated with gabapentin (up to 3600mg/day) compared to placebo (sugar pill). Each study participant will serve as her own control, meaning that she will take gabapentin first, followed by a wash-out period, and then placebo (or vice versa). The study also aims to identify predictors of treatment success and differentiate PVD subtypes caused or maintained by different underlying mechanisms. These include abnormalities in central nervous system pain processing, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions such as heart rate and digestion. The researchers’ long-term goal is to determine the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms of PVD, use this knowledge to develop evidence-based differential diagnoses of PVD subtypes and then individualize treatment for each subtype.

The three enrollment sites are located in Rochester, New York; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Memphis, Tennessee. To learn more about the study, or to participate, visit, or contact study coordinator Leslie Rawlinson at or 901-682-9222.


About the Investigators

Description: Candace BrownCandace Brown, PharmD, MSN, is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacy, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. She serves as Director of Sexual Medicine and Wellness at Women’s Health Specialists, a private practice in Memphis. Her areas of research interest include chronic pain and sexual disorders in women. She holds a M.S. in psychology, a M.S.N. in nursing, and a doctorate in pharmacy. Dr. Brown completed a pharmacy residency, a postdoctoral fellowship in psychopharmacology and a sabbatical at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She has been the principal investigator of 60 clinical trials, presented at over 150 professional meetings and has over 165 peer-reviewed publications.


Description: David FosterDavid Foster, MD, MPH, is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester, and directs the Colposcopy and Vulvovaginal Disease Unit as Strong Memorial Hospital. In addition to serving as a longtime member of NVA’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Foster is an active member of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease. He received his medical degree from the Thomas Jefferson University in 1976 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also completed a fellowship in gynecologic pathology and a masters in public health in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Foster has conducted numerous vulvar disease research projects, and also served as principal investigator of the first vulvodynia-specific NIH-funded clinical trial, which investigated the effectiveness of oral desipramine and topical lidocaine in the treatment of Provoked Vestibulodynia.


Description: Gloria BachmannGloria Bachmann, MMS, MD, is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine, as well as Interim Chair of the Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Department at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS). She holds numerous professional positions including  UMDNJ-RWJMS Associate Dean for Women’s Health and Chief of the OB/GYN Service at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. She has published over 400 medical articles and videos and is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, where she serves in several leadership positions.  Dr. Bachmann earned her B.A. from Rutgers University, an M.M.S. degree from Rutgers Medical School and her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

Previous Issues can be viewed by clicking below

Issue Details
January 2011 Year in Review 2010
October 2010 How Your Research Donation Makes a Difference
June 2010 NVA Funds New Vulvar Pain Clinic
Please Donate to NVA’s Research Fundraiser
NVA Mid-Year Report
OCA Launches Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women
January 2010 NVA Awards Research Grants
NVA Year in Review 2009
Media Coverage in the New Year
Shop at Amazon and Fund Research
NVA Cost-of-Illness Survey Needs Your Participation
Participate in Research
October 2009 NVA Launches First Online Learning Program for Women with Vulvodynia
NVA Attends Vagina Monologues to Benefit Boston Vulvovaginal Center
NVA Funds First Vulvodynia Treatment Registry
Vulvodynia on Primetime Television, Satellite Radio and More
Vulvodynia Matters Hosts Boston area Educational Forum
ACPA Releases Consumer Pain Treatment Guide
2010 NIH Appropriations Report
New Books
Participate in Research
June 2009 Please Donate to NVA’s Research Fundraiser
NVA Funds Five New Research Studies
NVA’s 2009 Mid-Year Report
Vulvodynia Researcher Receives Pfizer Award
Vulvodynia Publicity
Sign National Pain Care Policy Act Petition
NVA Cost-of-Illness Survey Needs Your Participation
Participate in Research
April 2009 NVA Joins Forces with Five Non-Profits to Help Millions Suffering from Coexisting Medical Conditions
Support the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2009
Pain Societies Publish First Opioid Guideline for Chronic Pain
FDA Changes Safety Information for Several Pain Medications
FDA Approves New Cream for Vaginal Dryness and Pain
National Women’s Organization Launches Sex and Intimacy Campaign
Continued Vulvodynia Coverage
Please Participate in an Important Survey
Participate in Research
February 2009 The NVA’s Year in Review: 2008
NVA Funds Vulvodynia and Pelvic Pain Research
NVA Welcomes New Support Services Director
Vulvodynia Subject of Continued Media Interest
TMJ Association Announces New Online Forum
Participants Needed for Research Studies
November 2008 Please Help the NVA Fund Research
Participants Needed for Cost of Illness Survey
Help the NVA While Shopping Online
Vivian Pinn, MD, Receives Top Honor
NVA Welcomes New Part-time Staff
Vulvodynia Publicity Takes Off
Canadian Vulvodynia Clinic Open Its Doors
September 2008 Vulvar Specialist Shares Important Lesson with Colleagues
Vulvodynia Specialists Educate Hundreds at National Pain Meeting
Vulvodynia Receives Prominent Media Coverage
Vulvodynia, NVA Featured in New Online Advocacy Toolkit Invites Women to Submit Articles
Vulvodynia Studies Seeking Participants
June 2008 In Memory and Appreciation of Dr. C. Paul Perry
NVA Announces Career Award Recipient
NVA Reaches Thousands of Providers at National Conferences
Recent NIH and NVA Vulvodynia Grants
Increased Media Coverage Continues
National Treatment Trial Currently Enrolling Patients
April 2008 Update on NIH Vulvodynia Awareness Campaign
NVA Inundated at Women’s Health Congress
Vulvodynia Media Coverage Sill on the Rise
Oprah Winfrey Show Update
Spotlight on NVA Volunteers – College Campus Initiative
Upcoming Conferences
February 2008 NVA Year-End Review
NVA Launches Vulvodynia Awareness Campaign
NVA’s Christin Veasley Speaks at National Press Club
NVA Joins Forces with Gynecologic Cancer Activists
NVA Funds Record Number of Research Studies
Media Coverage of Vulvodynia on the Rise
October 2007 NVA Exhibits at National Nurse Practitioner Meeting
Associate Executive Director Named
Help Raise Awareness of Vulvodynia by Sharing Your Story
Help Women with Vulvodynia
June 2007 NVA Campaigns for Increased Research Funding
NVA Continues to Award Record Number of Grants
NVA Funds New Vulvodynia Clinics
Help Women with Vulvodynia
February 2007 NVA Awards Record Number of Research Grants
NVA Honors Executive Director’s 10-Year Anniversary
ACOG Publishes Committee Opinion on Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia in the Media
NVA Updates Healthcare Provider Referral Database