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Current Research Projects


Pelvic Pain Impact Study

Jane Bowering close up photo

Jane Bowering (Chalmers), physiotherapist and PhD candidate has developed a Life Impact Questionnaire for Pelvic Pain which is soon to be published. This validated study looks broadly at the way Pelvic Pain changes the lives of those affected. It’s been developed by asking real women about their pain.

This study is complete and we’ll have news of the results very soon!


Inflammatory Pain Pathways in Endometriosis

Ms Kelsi Dodds, PhD Candidate, University Adelaide

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Ms Kelsi Dodds is a Health Scientist, currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Adelaide. Her PhD investigates a role for the central nervous and immune systems in the development of endometriosis, a chronic inflammatory disease often associated with severe pelvic pain and infertility. These pathways will be studied in a mouse model, developed for this purpose.

It is widely acknowledged that inflammation can be initiated and maintained by nerves and immune cells in other pain conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, so this research will determine if similar cells are active in endometriosis and their potential to cause and maintain disease progression.

Kelsi has been awarded prestigious Grants4Targets funding through Bayer Pharmaceuticals to further research her innovative ideas on endometriosis and pain. Be prepared for a a totally new take on your pain.

Adelaide Pelvic Pain Study – (APP-Study)

Dr Susan Evans, PhD Candidate University Adelaide.susan close up photo

Why some women have severe period pain and others do not remains unknown.  This PhD investigates whether the presence of an inflammatory pain phenotype is present in young women with these problems.  If such a pathway can be proven, it offers the potential for new and more effective treatments for pelvic pain. It may also provide a way of determining which girls are most at risk, and in whom early intervention might reduce their risk of later developing chronic pain.

This research project has received grant funding from ANZCA’s Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Foundation, through the Dr Russell Cole Memorial ANZCA Research Award, which was established to support a highly ranked pain related research project. Information about ANZCA’s Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Foundation is available at

This project has completed enrolment, and we’re really grateful to the wonderful women of Adelaide who participated. We’ll have the results on the website, with notification on Facebook as soon as it’s published.


Provoked vestibulodynia: Complex regional pain syndrome of the vulval vestibule?

Ms Jane Bowering, Physiotherapist and PhD Candidate University South Australia

Jane Bowering close up photo This PhD investigates a theory that pelvic pain, and particularly provoked vestibulodynia (vulval pain) is a complex regional pain syndrome(CRPS) – like condition of the pelvis.

Our hope is through using CRPS paradigms, we will discover more about the cause, development and course of Provoked Vestibulodynia. In particular, we will investigate the inflammatory properties of this condition.

This project is currently enrolling participants, and there are loads of benefits in being involved.

If you live in Adelaide and have vulval pain, we’ll have a link up soon.


The Language of Pelvic Pain

Yudhish is a Resident Medical Officer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, researching the language of pelvic pain.

His supervisors are Dr Susan Evans and Professor Roly Sussex.

More information to come!




Pelvic Pain and the Family

Ms Tiffany Brooks, Psychologist, Mildura, and University of Adelaide.

Tiffany photo casualTiffany is studying the impact of pelvic pain on the family of those affected. Her Masters thesis has been awarded the Australian Psychological Society Health Psychology Award, and was presented at the Australian Pain Society meeting in April 2015.






Male Pelvic Floor DeviceGlover_HeadShot-2

Dr Judith Glover is an academic and Industrial Design practitioner at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia.

While having a broad and varied range of experiences in design, fabrication, research and teaching her PHD thesis focused on the sex toy industry and its potential relationship to Industrial Design practice and professional culture. The thesis not only explores the technical capabilities that industrial design process and methods offers in improving manufacture and design quality but the relationship between industry practice and socio-cultural sexual ethos. The thesis explores how gender and sexuality notions are embedded within mass production to explain the lack of suitability of products for contemporary women. She is currently exploring the possibilities for new research and product innovation by expanding this work into a broader range of issue under the umbrella of Sexual Health and Wellbeing.

Dr Judith Glover and Product Design Engineer Peter Hvala have progressed well during last year, and have moved through early stages of their Design Method- investigation and discussion- making best progress. Concept development was sped up when immediate feedback from the physios team on possible design directions was received.
The project has progressed through early model stages addressing the forms functional requirements to something that resembles an early prototype. Over the next months, they will focus on deeper engineering requirements to get robust results from initial design investigations and are planning to have good quality prototypes by early 2017.


Overactive Bladder

Ashlee Caldwell, PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide as part of the Visceral Pain Group

AshleeAshlee’s research is focused on developing a deeper understanding  of the hypersensitivity and pain associated with pelvic pain conditions such as Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB) and  Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/PBS).

The research aims to understand these conditions by focusing on the first step in the pain pathway, the sensory nerves providing signals from the bladder to the spinal cord. Ashlee has identified novel receptor targets within these sensory neurons and her project will determine how the expression and function of these newfound sensory receptors relate to pelvic pain conditions.