Multi-award winning retailer Sh! has teamed up with a number of sex and relationship therapists to create a vaginismus awareness day on September 15th. Sh! believes that an awareness campaign is appropriate and necessary because although the condition is well known to sex and relationship experts that is often not the case with patients and GPs.
Sh! states: “Vaginismus is the term used to describe recurrent or persistent involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted. The symptoms include burning or stinging pain upon penetration, as well as intense fear or loss of desire when penetration is attempted. Penetrative sex certainly isn’t the be all and end all but the condition can have a devastating effect on the self-worth, relationships and quality of life of sufferers. It can also interfere with starting a family, gynaecological exams or even using tampons.
“At least two in 1,000 women suffer from vaginismus but we, and the sex and relationship experts we have spoken to, feel the true number is much higher. We are currently conducting a survey to help us find out the real extent of the issue. Vaginismus can be caused by all sorts of issues, such as pain during sex, abuse, or a deep rooted belief that sex is wrong. This can mean that those most likely to be affected by vaginismus are also those least likely to be aware of the condition or comfortable seeking help.
“Many of the responses we have so far received from our survey speak of people who are uncomfortable seeking help or who have been unhappy with the help they received… Those experiencing pain during sex need to know they are not alone and the condition is actually very treatable. Dilators are used alongside therapy to gradually help women become more comfortable with penetration.”
Sh! has developed its own range of soft silicone vibrating dilators in response to comments from sex and relationship therapists and patients and on the 15th of September the retailer will be hosting a free in-store event from 5:30pm to 8:00pm at its Hoxton Square, London, address. It will include talks from sex and relationship therapists as well as a discussion group for sufferers. Sh! will also be campaigning on social media to raise awareness and conducting a webinar on vaginismus with psychosexual therapist Krystal Woodbridge in the lead up to the day.
For more information visit http://www.vaginismusawareness.com