MD, FRCSC, PhD
Dr. Paul Yong (MD, PhD, FRCSC) is a Gynaecologist and the Research Director at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis. Dr. Yong’s clinical practice is focused on pelvic pain, with a particular interest in endometriosis. As Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Division of Gynecologic Specialties, he leads the Endometriosis Pelvic Pain Laboratory. His research interests include genomic, cellular, anatomic, and psychological factors in endometriosis-associated pain. Dr. Yong is also involved in teaching as the co-director of the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Graduate Program.
Endometriosis, a condition where endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus, affects 1 in 10 females. It is a common cause of pain and infertility, as well as a risk factor for ovarian cancer. We are currently investigating the role of non-inherited gene mutations, as well as the relationship between inflammation and the nervous system, as factors related to the symptoms of endometriosis.
In collaboration with the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain and Endometriosis, patients with endometriosis and/or pelvic pain have the opportunity to participate in the Endometriosis Pelvic Pain Interdisciplinary Cohort (EPPIC) Data Registry.
The data registry collects longitudinal data reflecting patient history, pain, psycho-social factors, quality of life, physical exam pain mapping, specialized ultrasound results, surgical findings and pathology. This includes the completion of validated questionnaires yearly for 5 years to assess depression (PHQ-9), generalized anxiety (GAD-7), pain catastrophizing (PCS), sleep scale, and endometriosis health profile (EHP-30).
With a goal of better understanding endometriosis, we are particularly interested in;
1) predictors of chronic pelvic pain;
2) sexual pain;
3) sexual quality of life;
4) central sensitization;
5) characterizing endometriosis
6) linking gene mutations to clinical symptoms and;
7) exploring transnational and behavioral implications of our research findings.
Data is available on request to qualified investigators as per current ethical approvals and data sharing agreements set by the University of British Columbia Research Ethics Board.
Pain with sexual intercourse is a cardinal symptom of endometriosis and is associated with significant detrimental effects on a person’s sexual function, sexual satisfaction, self-esteem and relationships. Despite its high prevalence and burden, we have found limited in-depth, plain language resources that help patients understand the complex etiology of this condition.
Armed with over 10 years of research on painful sex and endometriosis, our aim was to collaborate with patients, clinicians, web developers and endometriosis advocacy groups to establish a patient-centered digital health platform for people with endometriosis experiencing pain with sex.
Sex, Pain & Endometriosis, is a website where people affected by endometriosis and painful sex can find plain language explanations of pain etiologies with interactive images, video explanations, actionable ways to self-manage pain and descriptions about current treatment options.