Dr John Eden becomes a fellow of the RANZCOG. He is part of the first group of specialists to be accredited as a reproductive endocrinologist (CREI Fellow).


John is awarded Associate Professor in Reproductive Endocrinology, UNSW for his contribution and leadership in teaching, advanced research, mentoring and assessment of students in his field.

He founds the Natural Therapies Unit at the Royal Hospital for Women.


John establishes the Barbara Gross Research Unit within the Natural Therapies Unit at the RHW. The BGRU is named after our much loved and respected colleague, Dr Barbara Gross. Barbara was able to combine many roles – scientist, researcher, mother, wife and friend. As a researcher, her diverse interests included lactational amenorrhoea, menopause, HRT, natural family planning and home ovulation monitoring. The research unit aims to carry on her vision to improve women’s quality of life through pioneering health research.

Dr Thierry Vancaillie moves to Australia to join the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW and to take on the role of staff specialist in gynaecology in at the RHW.


Thierry begins gynaecology outpatient clinic at RHW. His office is a few doors away from John Eden and they become friends.

John establishes the Sydney Menopause Centre.

Pelvic floor physiotherapist Sherin Jarvis meets Thierry at his seminar on pelvic organ prolapse at RHW, and soon joins the team at RHW. Thierry and Sherin see women with pelvic organ prolapse as a team.


Thierry obtains a patent for his surgical fluid and tissue loss monitor. The monitor provides substantially real-time estimates of fluid absorption rate and tissue loss rate in a patient during a surgical procedure.


Women with pelvic pain start to be seen at the RHW gynaecology outpatient clinic.

John, Thierry and Sherin join forces to identify complex patient presentations and plan collaborative research.


Sherin and Thierry trial Botulinum Toxin type A injections for pelvic floor muscle pain, a world first.  This pilot study soon develops into world-leading research in pelvic pain.

Thierry obtains a patent for a topical intra-uterine anaesthesia device and method. This device provides a significant improvement over the efficiency of the conventional intra-uterine anaesthesia devices.


Thierry meets chemist Dr Alan Hewitt. Together they begin developing topical pharmaceutical products for the management of pain, and a new method of applying topical anaesthetic cream to the inner surfaces of the uterus and cervix with a view to avoiding local anaesthesia injections and reducing post-operative pain.


John’s book Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, A woman’s guide to identifying and managing PCOS, is published, allowing women access to the latest advice about managing PCOS.


WHRIA is born. Thierry and John, with the same holistic philosophy, merge their private practices to form the Women’s Health & Research Institute of Australia. It is to be a centre for excellence in women’s health and innovative, multidisciplinary research. The combined expertise of founding directors Thierry and John (in pain medicine and endoscopic surgery, and in reproductive endocrinology, respectively) complement each other well.

Sherin Jarvis joins WHRIA as a director, and also becomes a conjoint associate lecturer at UNSW.

The WHRIA team approach is modelled on European and North American healthcare, where the interdisciplinary model has worked well for many years. Thierry leads the expansion of this model to Australia, having trained, practised and taught in Europe and the USA.

WHRIA’s vision is: “From discovery and research innovation to reality.” The team identifies new ways to treat and manage patients, and begins investigation, data collection, pilot studies and RCTs.

BGRU affiliates with WHRIA to facilitate innovative research in the clinical setting.

The first pudendal neuralgia clinic in Australia is established at WHRIA.


The WHRIA pelvic pain team travels to the Perineal Pain Conference: Convergences, in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Thierry Vancaillie is awarded a Clinical Professor in Gynaecology at UNSW for his contribution and leadership in teaching, advanced research, mentoring and assessment of students in this field.

Chinese Medicine practitioner Bernice Lowe joins WHRIA to add acupuncture and herbal medicine to the holistic WHRIA team approach.


Sherin is appointed Conjoint Lecturer at UNSW.

WHRIA and BGRU invite French pelvic surgeon Dr Eric Bautrant to Australia to speak at the Annual Hormone & Women’s Health Update at UNSW, and to supervise Thierry with trans-vaginal pudendal nerve release surgery – an Australian first – at RHW.

WHRIA begins to see men with pelvic pain.

John Eden begins monthly gynaecology specialist visits to Pius X Aboriginal Health Service, Moree, in rural NSW.

The WHRIA pelvic pain team visits the Pacific Centre for Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction, San Francisco, USA for clinical observation of the holistic team led by pelvic pain specialist Dr Jerome Weiss.

Radiologist Dr Toos Sachinwalla, in conjunction with Thierry, develops a new technique for pelvic MRI to view the pudendal nerve and areas of potential anatomical compression. MRI techniques have continuously evolved since. Dr Sachinwalla’s expertise in the interpretation of results is invaluable; he has previously reviewed several hundred MRIs of the sacral spine and pudendal nerves.

Acupuncturist Bernice Lowe attends a Sensei Kiiko Matsumoto-style acupuncture seminar in Santa Cruz, USA to advance her skills in Japanese-style acupuncture, a style well suited to pelvic pain.

Margaret O’Brien joins WHRIA to add psychology, hypnotherapy and counselling to the team approach.

Thierry travels to San Diego, California to visit a colleague and discuss advances in pelvic pain management; and to Boston Scientific headquarters near Los Angeles to learn the sacral neuromodulator lead insertion surgical technique for the management of pelvic pain and bladder issues.


Thierry writes ‘The $6 Billion Woman and the $600 Million Girl’, a report on pelvic pain, with Dr Susan Evans, and Deborah Bush.

John self publishes his book Getting over past hurts. How to let go of emotional pain before it eats you alive!

Thierry and Dr Hewitt release Pluscaine® – a unique anaesthetic gel, for gynaecological procedures, such as Mirena® device insertion, to be performed at the WHRIA rooms with greater comfort, providing women with an alternative to Mirena® insertion under general anaesthetic, to help reduce the cost and risks associated with sedation.

Thierry is awarded a fellowship via election with the Faculty of Pain Medicine for his contribution to the pain community (clinical, research and leadership).

Osteopath Amy Corcoran joins WHRIA to add manual therapy and exercise prescription to the team approach.

WHRIA moves from RHW to its current location in the Sydney CBD, and continues at Kogarah.



WHRIA renovates its Bathurst Street rooms to include a procedure room, adding 3D/4D ultrasound diagnostic procedures and pulsed radiofrequency for nerve pain – a first for the treatment of pudendal nerve pain in Australia.

Gynaecologist and ultrasound specialist Dr Yasmin Tan joins WHRIA, bringing her special interest in children and adolescents and vulval care to the team approach.

Thierry and Sherin invite orthopaedic and spinal surgeon Dr Andreas Loefler to Nantes, France to learn about the trans-gluteal pudendal nerve release surgery from anatomist and neurosurgeon Professor Roger Robert and his team at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU).

John Eden becomes Medical Co-Director of Gynaecology, RHW.

Acupuncturist Bernice Lowe travels to Toronto, Canada for further training from her mentor Sensei Kiiko Matsumoto in Japanese-style acupuncture.


WHRIA helps RANZCOG establish the Robert Wrigley Pain Research Scholarship by a donation from the late Robert Wrigley, a WHRIA pudendal neuralgia patient, with specific instruction that the funds be used for the improvement of the treatment of pelvic pain.

Thierry and Dr Sachinwalla refine MRI of the pudendal nerve as they begin their regular monthly case reviews, comparing radiological findings with clinical findings.

WHRIA invites Professor Roger Robert and his team from Nantes to Sydney to teach its specialists their team approach to pudendal neuralgia. The WHRIA team learns techniques for assessment and conservative management. The visit also sees the first trans-gluteal pudendal nerve release in Australia, performed by Dr Loefler, with Thierry as surgical assistant, and supervised by Professor Robert.

The Nantes team are the keynote speakers at the WHRIA educational event – Chronic Pelvic and Perineal Pain: Consensus on Disease Identity 2012. They are very impressed by a Sydney Harbour boat trip.

Thierry attends the Sacral Neuromodulation Conference in Las Vegas, USA, run by the North American Neuromodulation Society.

BGRU supervises independent learning research for medical students and pain fellows. Some of the unique studies conducted are ‘Outcomes of pudendal nerve block’, ‘Quality of life outcomes after pudendal nerve release surgery’ (Dr Jason Chow), and ‘Asherman’s Syndrome rates of pregnancy post treatment’ (Dr Georgina Armstrong).

 John’s book Getting over past hurts. How to let go of emotional pain before it eats you alive! is released internationally.


WHRIA welcomes obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Jason Chow for mentoring and training in pelvic and perineal pain with Thierry for two years, as he works towards his fellowship in pain medicine. Jason is awarded the Robert Wrigley Pain Research Scholarship from RANZCOG for pelvic pain research.

Osteopath Liz Howard joins WHRIA to add support and pain education to the team approach.

The WHRIA pelvic pain team attends the inaugural Pain Adelaide conference, facilitated by Professor Lorimer Moseley and his colleagues at the Body In Mind Institute and the NOI Group: ‘probably the best little pain meeting in the world’.

Members of the WHRIA pelvic pain team (Thierry, Sherin, Jason, Liz) attend the First World Congress on Pelvic & Abdominal Pain, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Jason Chow is selected for a poster presentation of his research conducted at WHRIA, ‘The role of MRI in the diagnosis of pudendal nerve entrapment’.

The WHRIA team attends the second annual Pain Adelaide meeting.

Thierry attends the Sacral Neuromodulation Conference in Orlando, USA. This year the theme is Mechanisms of Action: Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System.

WHRIA Diagnostics is established, to provide excellence in imaging for pelvic pain and expand the treatment procedures available at WHRIA.

The first annual VIP GP Education Evening is held. Dr Yasmin Tan speaks about the management of vulval dermatological conditions and Dr Juman Farjo speaks about pelvic organ prolapse.


WHRIA holds its first monthly Pudendal Neuralgia Support and Education Group. It is facilitated by osteopath Liz Howard and WHRIA patient Anjolien Sprangers, with help from the Australian Pain Management Association’s Margaret Knight.

Pelvic floor physiotherapist Sherin attends the Chronic Pelvic Pain & the Sensitive Nervous System course and clinical observation at a multidisciplinary clinic in Toronto, Canada, The event is run by Caroline Vandyken, co-author of the book Why Pelvic Pain Hurts. Neuroscience Education for Patients with Pelvic Pain.

Thierry and Jason attend the Faculty of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting, Singapore.

Thierry presents ‘Pelvic pain: from laparoscopy to neuro-modulation’ to the College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in Singapore, and in Liege, Belgium.

At the WHRIA ‘VIP’ GP Education Evening Thierry speaks on chronic pelvic pain and John presents case studies about managing menopause.

WHRIA becomes the first Sydney clinic to offer fractional CO2 laser treatment for pelvic and perineal pain conditions such as vaginal atrophy and focal vulvar pain.

Thierry co-authors the book Chronic Pelvic Pain. A book for physicians and health professionals.


WHRIA has seen more than 12,000 people since opening.

Jason is the first gynaecologist in Australia to join the Faculty of Pain Medicine under the examination system.

Liz travels to India to supervise osteopathic students in the Orthopaedic Hospital, and introduces osteopathy for chronic pelvic pain at the Women’s Hospital, Mumbai.

Sherin Jarvis attends Treating Pelvic Girdle Pain, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Diastasis Rectus Abdominis in the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa.

John travels to the 10th European Congress on Menopause and Andropause in Madrid, Spain.

Thierry attends the International Society of Neuromodulation’s 12th World Congress in Montreal, Canada, and Hands-on Neuromodulation: Sacral, Pudendal, Tibial, Botulinum Toxin, Pelvic Pain in Detroit, USA.

Bernice attends the NOI group’s Explain Pain course in Orange, and Amy attends in Port Macquarie, NSW.

WHRIA begins laser treatment for mild prolapse and incontinence.


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