Vulvodynia Public Awareness Campaign: “Its Not in her Head”

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    Hi ladies. I wanted to share an excellent marketing campaign to raise awareness about the condition of vulvodynia. It airs on television just as the common commercials for male erectile dysfunction.

    “Vancouver-based film production company Pink Buffalo has taken it upon itself to raise awareness about a painful but little-known condition that affects a significant number of women. Its new PSA called “It’s Not in Her Head” aims to educate viewers about Vulvodynia, a poorly understood chronic neuropathic condition that causes female genital pain.

    Pink Buffalo partnered with the Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health to help promote the spot and shine a light on the condition. According to a new page on the foundation’s website that was created to serve as an online hub for the awareness campaign and share more information about Vulvodynia, as many as 15% of women suffer in silence with this condition. The PSA is personal in nature for Pink Buffalo as it was the brainchild of its co-producer Momona Komagata, who has lived with the condition for a few years. “I went through a lot of hardship because of this condition… There’s not a lot of information about it. Even doctors aren’t always aware,” said Komagata. “I had been trying for the past few years to really come up with some ideas to not only increase awareness, but also to help some doctors gain the initiative to educate themselves and also create some support for people with the condition and who’ve been unable to talk about it.” The raw and emotive spot features a diverse cast of women suffering from the condition in various situations. The strategy in crafting the PSA, said Pink Buffalo senior director/producer Ryan Tod Reynolds, was to make it as personable as possible. “I just really wanted to create a series of scenarios that had [the raw, emotive and personable] tone and could be put together and, with the sound design, give it that compelling feeling of frustration,” said Reynolds.

    Pink Buffalo did all of its own legwork to promote the PSA, leveraging contacts to secure air time on all of Shaw’s specialty channels across the country, as well as landing a feature article on, a women’s health blog that reaches about 13,000 women a week. It’s also up on Vimeo and Youtube and between the two, it’s achieved around 1,000 views to date. Everyone involved in crafting the spot donated their time to make it happen. The ultimate goal, said Komagata, is to attract donations that will help allocate money to research. “I just really want to be able to create an open dialogue about this,” she said. “I think this is a condition that deserves openness and communication.”

    I truly believe that with our collective drive, ideas, and efforts, we, too, can one day air a similar public awareness campaign for those suffering with vaginismus. Already, there are so many excellent ideas generating on the Forum, including Kelsie’s recent film idea (see and also so much passion and drive to “pay it forward” and help others to know about the condition of vaginismus and overcome (see Julie’s idea to specialize in Plastics I can’t say enough in words about how much I love all of your ideas.

    I encourage you to view the video and information on the PSA for vulvodynia here and welcome your comments and feedback. How can we some day do something like this to spread the word about vaginismus? What specific ideas do you have?

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