Research | Queen’s University Canada

Caroline Pukall

Caroline Pukall

While sexually and gender-diverse people represent 13 per cent of Canada’s population, they are often neglected in sexual health research: this program will address the knowledge gaps in understanding and treating genitopelvic pain in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients.

[Photo of Dr. Caroline Pukall]
Canada Research Chair in Sexual Health
Tier 1

Inclusive sexual health research

One in five people suffer from chronic pain in the genitals or pelvis, which can greatly impact their sexuality, mental health, and quality of life. While there is increasing scientific evidence on the causes and possible treatments for genitopelvic pain, most research focus on heterosexual, cisgender participants and pain during penile-vaginal intercourse.

As a Canada Research Chair in Sexual Health, Caroline Pukall (she/her/elle) will lead a research program focusing on genitopelvic pain in sexually and gender-diverse people. This trailblazing research program consists of a longitudinal survey that will investigate characteristics of genitopelvic pain and health care experiences in participants with diverse sexual orientations, sexes, and genders. This research program also includes studies to identify psychophysiological correlates of genitopelvic pain in, for example, people undergoing gender-affirming procedures (e.g., like hormone therapy, surgery), and to develop interventions to improve genitopelvic pain and sexual outcomes.

The results of Dr. Pukall’s research program will address the unmet sexual health needs of sexually and gender-diverse people with genitopelvic pain, provide tools for patients to discuss their pain, and help clinicians and other healthcare professionals to support their patients.