Organization Lectures – SSSS

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    Hi all. I found an excellent resource article written by Dr. Pacik:

    “I had the honor of being invited to teach a continuing education course on vaginismus at their Eastern Regional Meeting, June 5-7, 2009. The 1-1/2 hour course was an excellent blend of therapists interested in learning about the cure of vaginismus using Botox and dilators. Two hour continuing education courses were presented at the 2010 annual Las Vegas meeting and the 2011 annual Houston meetings titled “An Overview of Vaginismus: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment with Botox and Dilators under Anesthesia: Physicians and Sexological Clinicians Working Together for Healing” I was impressed by the large turnout for these educational sessions, and pleased that more and more heath care professionals want to learn about vaginismus. The audiance was very engaged, and each of the two-hour sessions went by very quickly. The abstract that the attendees recieved was as follows: “Vaginismus is an involuntary, uncontrollable contraction of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina occurring when any penetration is attempted, even a finger or tampon, causing severe pain, burning, and fear. Vaginismus, the main cause of unconsummated relationships, impairs or prevents gynecological examination and has serious personal and social implications for the sufferer. This condition is under-reported; its extent is unknown, but it is far more common than previously believed, now thought to afflict one to six percent of women worldwide. These women, often maintaining a wall of silence and isolation, are in desperate need of treatment. Because many physicians and clinicians are misinformed or unfamiliar with the symptoms, causes, and scope of sexual pain, sufferers of vaginismus who do seek help are often misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated.

    The syllabus included:

    1. Clarification of painful intercourse from dyspareunia to vaginismus, and the effects of these on the lives of individuals and couples, will be presented.

    2. Lamont’s classification of vaginismus, a system identifying severity levels of the condition and impacting determination of treatment, will be reviewed.

    3. Issues discussed will include medical conditions: possible causes that may need ruling out; updating terminology: clarifying a plethora of misconceptions, terms used, and differences among similar conditions, including vulvodynia and vaginismus; reasons for failure, despite often prolonged use, of conservative treatments; description of minimal penetration intercourse, a strategy which allows some patients to transition from dilators to intercourse without fear; and pelvic floor anatomy with illustrations, terminology, and conceptual understanding of the underlying anatomical problems. 4. Treatments to be discussed include emerging researched approaches using Botox and vaginal dilation under anesthesia, combined with post-procedure care and counseling. A review of case histories with audience participation will elucidate types of counseling needed for this population both before and after treatment. Over 90% of women treated with Botox and dilation were able to achieve pain-free intercourse within two weeks to three months and required no further treatment. Prior conservative treatment received, some for as long twenty years, had failed. In addition to medical treatment, most patients benefit from clinical sex counseling for quality of life, mental health, relationship issues, and to support a comfortable transition from dilators to intercourse. Among the 10% of women who do not transition to intercourse easily, most are successful with dilators, but concomitant relationship and sexuality issues require additional sex therapy.”

    This is an excellent means of advocating and educating to spread the word about the condition of vaginismus.

    What further advocacy ideas do you have?

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