Original Article

Mapping chronic urogenital pain in women: insights into mechanisms and management of pain based on the IMAP Part 2


Pelviperineology 2015;34(1):28-36


To introduce the integrated mapping and assessment protocol (IMAP), designed to systematically localise the origins of pain in chronic urogenital pain (CUP) syndromes.


A retrospective analysis of IMAP data, from 82 participants, comparing pain scores of two CUP subgroups; vulvodynia and bladder pain syndrome (BPS), with asymptomatic controls. A further analysis was carried out to assess the use of the IMAP as a tool for evaluating the impact of interventions.


The IMAP scores showed significant differences between CUP syndromes and asymptomatic controls. Pain scores from the two CUP subgroups confirmed that pain of pelvic muscle origin is characteristic of chronic pain conditions, and does not represent the normal state. The paraurethral area was shown to be the source of the highest pain scores, when compared with other maps. Analysis of pre and post intervention pain scores indicated a statistically significant reduction of pain scores, demonstrating the IMAP’s sensitivity to intervention-related change.


The IMAP is a promising tool in localizing the origins of pain, and providing insight into the role of peripheral pain mechanisms in CUP syndromes. Mapping will assist in the development of evidence-based interventions, and provides an objective means of evaluating their impact.

Keywords: Chronic urogenital pain (CUP); Vulvodynia; Bladder pain syndrome (BPS); Integrated mapping and assessment protocol (IMAP); Ischemia.