Manchester Vulval
Support Network

MVSN was created in 2015 by a team of patient representatives, two Consultant Gynaecologists and a specialist Nurse. The group was created to meet the needs of women with vulval pain issues in the North West of England. It was recognised that there was a lack of face to face support for what can be a challenging and isolating condition.

The group aims to provide a forum for women with vulval pain conditions to share helpful advice, enjoy informative talks from a range of speakers and to create a local network for patients and professionals to share best practice.

The MVSN group meets once a quarter in the 'Parent Craft' room located at St Mary's Hospital Manchester. Each session provides a small forum where patients can come together in a mutually supportive environment. At each session, we facilitate a guest speaker who specialises in their field of expertise in relation to Vulval health. The speakers have so far included a specialist pelvic physiotherapist, a Consultant Anaesthetist and specialist in pain management, a Hypnotherapist and a Nutritionist. Heather is a strong advocate of the MVSN group and as well as providing her professional skills, also chairs and facilitates this group.

New Research - UWE Bristol

Pain during sexual intercourse has only received research attention in the last two decades. Within heterosexual relationships, most of this research has focused on women. Whilst understanding women's experiences is hugely important, sex is an interpersonal experience and much less is known about the experience of women's partners. This study therefore aims to better understand:

  • How men make sense of and respond to their partner's sexual pain.
  • How men view possible difficulties with sexual intercourse influencing their sexual relationship, their relationship in general and themselves individually.

There are two ways to participate in this study: respond to an anonymous online survey and /or take part in an interview

The survey: In order to capture the unique and varied experiences that men may have, questions are answered in respondents own words rather than selecting from a fixed choice of answers. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete depending on how much is written and confidentiality of all data is rigorously maintained. At the end of the survey, participants are also given the option of possibly being interviewed.

Interviews: All interviews are conducted by the researcher and may be done via telephone, a video call or possibly in-person. Interviews are based on the survey questions and take around 60 minutes. Men can be interviewed after participating in the survey to discuss their responses in more depth or may choose to only be interviewed without completing the survey.

In order to participate in the study, men must be over the age of 18, resident in the UK and have been in a relationship with a woman who experiences pain during sexual intercourse. The relationship can be current or in the past.

The research will be used to better inform therapeutic practice for both individuals and the couple and enhance support for anyone seeking help. Links: The survey can be directly accessed through the following link or via the QR code on the below pages:

The MVSN Team

Ursula Winters - Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Heather Coppard - MVSN Chair & Hypnotherapist

Dr Kate Parker - Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Sarah Benjamins - Student Nutritionist

** A special thanks to St Mary's Hospital for the supply of the meeting venue.

More information on the MVSN group and the next meeting dates can be found by emailing

Next Meetings

Next meeting date TBA - Meetings are being setup, we just cant confirm the date & details just yet.
Please check back soon. The MVSN Team

Full meetings list »