Supervisor: Momoe Hyakutake
Project: A survey of cannabis use for analgesia in women with chronic pelvic pain
Grande Prairie, AB
Doctor of Medicine
What's been the best part of your experience so far?
I have found working with patients directly at the pelvic pain clinic to be a very valuable and an eye-opening experience. I've learned from lectures and readings about chronic pain and its effects, but it's another thing altogether to see it first-hand in clinic, to talk with patients and to see their lived experience. As someone interested in obstetrics and gynecology, this studentship working at the women's health clinic within the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, provides me with the exciting opportunity to engage with and learn more about this very unique field of medicine. It allows me to already fulfill my career aspiration of helping patients, all while conducting research that will help to better women's health.
What has WCHRI's support through the Foundations for your studentship meant to you?
I am very grateful for the support WCHRI has provided through funding provided by the Alberta Women's Health Foundation. Their help has allowed me to conduct valuable research. The support I've received for this project has allowed me to not only help patients out directly by contributing to a growing body of research directly related to patients health, but has also allowed me to gain experience in writing literature reviews, contributing to study designs and ethics approvals, collecting data and analysing results—all of which have increased my ability to carry out research independently and will provide me with valuable skills that I will take forward with me in my future career as a physician.
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a debilitating condition affecting approximately 15% of women worldwide. Opioid analgesics are commonly used to treat women with CPP. However, in some individuals, opioids are ineffective, and many physicians fear inappropriate use, tolerance, as well as adverse effects, leading to clinicians looking elsewhere for alternative pain control methods. There is some promising literature to support of use of cannabis for chronic noncancer pain. Unfortunately, at the current time, there is no literature regarding its use and efficacy in women with CPP. Therefore, we wish to determine the use and efficacy of cannabis among women with CPP. We will be collecting data from women attending the CPP clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women who will be recruited to fill out a questionnaire, which will assess the use of medical and non-medical cannabis as well as self-reported benefit. This will provide an environmental scan on the use of cannabis in women with CPP, and act as a platform from which we can develop further studies to carefully examine the efficacy of this emerging treatment modality and deepen our understanding of this condition and management options.