FAQ’s

Questions about Centre

We are a team of health care providers with expertise in helping women in B.C. with benign, pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions of the vulva and vagina. Our health care team is composed of specialized gynecologists, gynecologic oncologists, registered nurses, pelvic floor physiotherapists, and psychologists.

Centre experts are passionate about teaching.  We work with a variety of healthcare providers that are actively participating in our on-site specialty academic training.  Patients will have the opportunity to work with an array of health professionals at each appointment, as they move through different components of our programming.

We help adult women who suffer with ongoing uncomfortable vulvar symptoms. We also help women who notice a change to their vulvar skin – for example, a bump or rash. Our goals are to clarify the cause (diagnosis) and offer treatment to reduce the symptoms and improve a woman’s quality of life. Please see our specific programs and services for more information.

No. Thanks to the generosity of donors, and resources and support from Vancouver Coastal Health, all of the health care services (gynecologist, psychologist, physiotherapist) available in the Centre are provided at no additional cost to women in British Columbia.

Our Centre focuses only on the care of women with vulvar or vaginal disorders. We do not provide cosmetic or routine gynecological care (eg. contraceptive counselling).  We do not provide obstetrical care.  Patients with confirmed invasive vulvar cancer should be referred directly to B.C. Cancer. Unfortunately, at the current time we cannot accept women from outside the province of BC.

The BCCVH will accept women with chronic vulvar symptoms and/or vulvar lesions. The clinics accept patients with benign, and pre-malignant skin conditions. Women with diagnosed vulvar cancer should be referred directly to the BC Cancer Agency.

Questions about Appointments

In order to gain access to the BCCVH you need a referral from another health care provider to our Centre. Women can be referred by their family doctors, gynaecologists, dermatologists or other doctors.  Referral forms for your health care provider are available on our website here.
The BCCVH is located on the sixth floor of the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre at Vancouver Hospital.

Click here for a pdf of BC CVH parking and directions or read the information below:

6th Floor (Station 4), 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9

We are located across from VGH on Laurel Street.  This is on 12th Avenue and between Laurel & Oak Streets.

Building Entrances – 3 entrances: off Laurel, off of 12th Avenue or off of Oak Street.

5-minute patient pick up/drop off zone (including HandiDart & taxi) is at the Laurel entrance (between 10th and 12th Avenues, accessible Laurel northbound or Laurel southbound).

We are accessible by Transit:

  • Bus off of Oak Street – nearest stop is Oak and 12th Avenue.
  • Bus off of Broadway – nearest stop is Oak at Broadway.  (For 99 UBC B-Line, the nearest stop is Willow.)
  • Skytrain – nearest is Canada Line’s Broadway-City Hall Station.

Parking:

  • Diamond Centre’s parking lot is accessible from on Laurel, just past 10th Avenue.
  • VGH parking lot is accessible from Laurel Street, between 12th and 13th Avenues.
  • Metered parking is available on Broadway, Oak, Laurel, Willow, Heather Streets and 7th Avenue.
  • Free parking is on Oak Street; 7th, 13th and 16th Avenues, as well as north of Broadway on Willow, Heather, Laurel, Ash.
  • Hotels and other medical buildings on Broadway also have parking lots for a daily fee.

Please take note of the parking restrictions.  Since parking can be challenging to find, we suggest you give yourself an extra 30+ minutes to find parking, pay and then walk to the Centre. 

Please bring any notes about your condition, test results that relate to your condition (example, skin biopsy, vaginal cultures) and or medical records. We will have received a referral from your health care provider but anything that you can bring that adds to a more fulsome picture would be helpful. And, please bring your questions! This is an opportunity for you to get answers and make progress. If you forget about something please write it down and bring that question or concern to your next appointment. We encourage you to keep track of your own vulvar health with a journal or notes so that we can incorporate that information into your treatment plan.

Also, please bring:

  • Your BC health care card.
  • BCCVH Vulvar Health Questionnaire (.docx). If possible please download, print and fill out prior to your appointment. It will save you time. Our receptionist will provide a paper copy for you to complete if you do not bring it with you.
  • A list of your medications. Name of medication, dose, and frequency that you take it.
  • Bring any topical medication (jars, tubes, over-the-counter) that you are currently using on the vulvar area and make note of the timeline for their use.

Please do not cancel your appointment if you are menstruating. In most cases, we will be able to complete a vulvar exam. While it may be embarrassing to you, it does not bother our health care professionals.

During clinic hours you may call the clinic and ask to speak to the Nurse in the Vulvar Centre. If it is after hours, then please go to the nearest emergency room or contact your primary health care provider. The clinicians in the clinic are not available after clinic hours.

The Centre is home to an active group of clinical researchers. So there are opportunities to learn about and participate in clinical trials or other research activities. The current ongoing trials can be found here on our site under research. Speak with your physician or our Clinical Care Coordinator to learn more.

You can book an appointment directly with the receptionist, either face to face or via phone (604-875-5022 Press #3). If you have not been seen in over 12 months you may need a new referral.

Please call the Centre as soon as possible. We have a large number of patients waiting to be seen.  When given >48 hours notice, we are usually able to schedule another patient. The women on our wait list will thank you for your consideration!

Our receptionist does her best to call patients 1-2 weeks prior to their appointment to remind them. If you miss your appointment, it is your responsibility to contact the Centre and reschedule.

There are a limited number of spots available to see our MVP clinicians (gynecologist, pelvic floor physiotherapist and psychologist). If you miss one of these MVP appointments, we will not be able to reschedule the appointment.

Yes, we can provide you with a letter for your work place or school. Speak with the Clinic Care Coordinator.

You may contact your pharmacy directly and ask them to send us a refill request by fax (604 875 4869). We refill prescriptions for women who have been recently seen and treated. If you have not been seen for > 6 months, then you may need to come in for a follow up appointment.

If the question is a medical question, please contact the Nurse in the Centre for Vulvar Health and leave a single detailed message. To speak directly or leave a message with the RN in the Centre call (604) 875-4111 extension 63179.

If the message is about the MVP program, please contact our Clinical Care Coordinator at (604) 875-4111 extension 63445 .

Our health care providers will return messages left by patients; however, as providers work on different days, same day message returns may not be possible. Our physicians will not communicate via email or text messages.

Questions about Health Care Team

The Clinical Care Coordinator facilitates communication between and amongst the health care providers, and between the patient and the program. She is there to help answer your questions about the programs and services and ensures that you move between health care providers in a timely manner. To speak directly to the Clinical Care Coordinator call (604) 875-4111 extension 63445.

A set of accommodators is approximately $70 and can be purchased at Laurel Prescriptions (102 – 888 W. 8th Ave).  The pharmacy is at the corner of Laurel Street, one block east of Oak St. (604-873-5511).  Click here for other options to purchase accommodators.

Most women who participate in the multidisciplinary vulvodynia program benefit from the use of vaginal accommodators to address vaginismus (a reflex tightening of the pelvic floor muscles that can occur when sex is painful).   If you are not sure if you want to use them or will need them, wait until your first physiotherapy appointment before purchasing.  If you already own a set, bring them to your physiotherapy appointment.

Vulvar Pain Assessment Clinic (VPAC)

For women aged 19 years and older who are suffering from chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia).

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Vulvar Disease Clinic

Assesses and manages women with chronic vulvar symptoms and/or asymptomatic vulvar conditions or lesions.

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Vulvar Intra-epithelial Neoplasia Follow up Clinic

For women who have been previously diagnosed and treated for Vulvar Intra-Epithelial Neoplasia (VIN).

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Vulvar Oncology Clinic

Supports women with suspected cancer, suspected and or diagnosed pre-cancer of the vulva, and/or complex vulvar diseases requiring surgical intervention.

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