Rock the Research

By Riva Preil

The field of vulvovaginal health and pelvic floor therapy is exciting and dynamic.  A wide variety of research is being performed on an ongoing basis to discover the best and most efficient practices and treatments. In addition, research contributes to a greater understanding of pelvic floor therapy dysfunction, and it helps search for answers to the many “why” questions.  For instance, why do some women develop pelvic pain or dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) while on birth control, but others do not?

Dr. Andrew Goldstein, world renowned vulvovaginal specialist and surgeon, is in process of searching for answers.  His theory is that some women have an actual genetic predisposition to developing pain in response to birth control.  Through gene pattern analysis, Dr. Goldstein has discovered a trend regarding the specific gene in question- that it is common for women who develop pain on the pill to have a LONGER gene with more alleles compared to women who do not develop pain on the pill.  The correlation between gene length and pain may be extremely important.  The clinical significance of this could be helpful in deciding whether or not the pill is an appropriate form of contraception for this specific woman.  This model of INDIVIDUALIZED MEDICINE takes the unique composition of each person into account and is much more appropriate than the previous “one size fits all” medical model.

YOU may be able to assist Dr. Goldstein with his research!  High quality research with meaningful results must contain both an experimental group as well as a control group.  The experimental group in the aforementioned research is the group of women with pelvic pain who are on the pill, and the control group is the group of women ALSO on the pill who do NOT experience pelvic pain.  The control group provides a framework for proper comparison with the experimental group.  Dr. Goldstein is searching for women to participate in the control group.  Participants will have a blood sample drawn and will be compensated fifty dollars.  The process takes approximately ten minutes, and his office is conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan, around the corner from Grand Central Station (and Beyond Basics Physical Therapy)!  If you or someone you know is using birth control and not experiencing any pain or adverse effects and would like to make a contribution to the medical community, please email Dr. Goldstein at obstetrics@yahoo.com for more information.

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