But due to a variety of factors – including the difficulty of studying such a sensitive subject, variations in definitions and diagnostic criteria and a historic lack of research on health conditions that primarily affect women
– it has gone under-researched. In 2011, more than 80 researchers came together for a conference on the state of vulvodynia research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US. “Participants at the conference agreed that the evidence base for vulvodynia research is sparse, and that there is insufficient scientific evidence to form a consensus on preferred methods of diagnosis and treatment,” they concluded
. Their report added that participants agreed that moving forward required expertise from scientists in neurology, pain research and other areas, but that “too few investigators in all fields, but particularly in fields other than gynecology, were sufficiently knowledgeable and interested in vulvodynia”.