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Exploring the Diversity of Women's Experiences


Stephanie Wilson

I am a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University where I study medical sociology. For me, that means researching provider-patient interactions and medical decision-making, among other social factors that contribute to health inequality. The "Pelvic Pain Project" is my doctoral dissertation research and was born when I started reading that women with pelvic pain are often dismissed by their healthcare providers. As someone who studies health inequality, I pay particular attention to how demographics like gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, etc. contribute to such inequalities. However, I noticed that most of the research on women's pelvic pain ignores many demographics shown to be important in pain assessment and treatment as well as healthcare interactions more generally. Therefore, the "Pelvic Pain Project" is here to examine the diversity among women's experiences with pelvic pain, including undiagnosed pain or pain with endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, IUD complications, and more. In conducting this research, I hope to shed light on the diverse medical encounters that women have about their pelvic pain in the U.S. Although I think experiences outside the U.S. are just as important to explore, my research scope is unfortunately limited to experiences within the U.S. healthcare system. Have you experienced pelvic pain beyond minor pain expected with menstruation and consulted with a provider about that pain? I invite you to share your story with me through an interview in person, or over the phone, FaceTime, Skype, or other video/audio chat platforms !

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