Women’s Sexual Health

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The Women’s Initiative in Sexual Health (or, WISH) Initiative is a campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of female sexual health. Over a decade of prevalence studies have consistently shown that approximately 40% of women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, which is actually a higher incidence than what is reported in men. Yet, even though more women suffer from sexual dysfunction, most women do not seek treatment for it, and when they do seek treatment, their options are more limited than what is available for men.

So, what do we mean when we say “female sexual dysfunction”? Well, FSD can manifest itself differently for different women. Some may experience low libido, where they just don’t have any interest in sex; others may experience intense pain when they do have intercourse; still others may have “arousal disorders” where their bodies simply don’t have a normal response to sexual stimuli. These experiences can lead to depression or anxiety and often have a negative impact on their committee relationships.

The WISH Initiative strives to bring the conversation about women and sexual health from taboo to mainstream. The World Health Organization considers sexual health an important component of overall well-being, and women deserve that their sexual health be recognized, properly diagnosed and effectively treated. Women who suffer from these conditions should not feel embarrassed to discuss these concerns regarding their sexual health with their doctor. Suffering in silence is not the answer!

An important component of the WISH Initiative is the WISH Petition. This is a grass roots petition that highlights the importance of women’s sexual health being recognized and valued, and that there would be continued research on finding treatment solutions for women, just as there have been for men. Did you know that Viagra has been on the market for men for over 15 years…yet there is still nothing that is FDA approved to treat women? Clearly, there is a disconnect that needs to be addressed.

With an aggressive goal of reaching 1 Million signatures, we need everyone to take a moment to SIGN IT! Please visit “Your Voice Your Wish” and voice your support to this important cause today. This is an important health issue that can no longer be ignored! We will have a link to the WISH Petition on our website.

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Women’s Initiative on Sexual Health (WISH) Position Statement

The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) is a multidisciplinary academic, scientific and clinical organization whose purposes are:

  1. To provide opportunities for communication among scholars, researchers, and practitioners about women’s sexual function and sexual experience.
  2. To support the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in research, education, and clinical practice of women’s sexuality.
  3. To provide the public with accurate information about women’s sexuality and sexual health.

ISSWSH, as the leading international organization devoted to women’s sexual health, is committed to further development of the field of female sexuality. As such, we advocate a collaborative approach for assessment, diagnosis and treatment of women who are suffering from sexual health problems. ISSWSH has developed this position statement in support of women impacted by sexual dysfunction. These women, their families, and loved ones are all affected by sexual dysfunction, and their voices are often not heard. It is only by a unified and coordinated effort that progress for those affected women will be achieved.

As healthcare professionals, researchers, family and friends who have seen firsthand the devastation to physical and psychological health and quality of life that sexual dysfunction can cause, we state, unequivocally, that female sexual disorders are real conditions and not a fabrication, nor a result, of disease mongering.

ISSWSH Wish LogoFemale sexual disorders are valid conditions that warrant assessment, diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic intervention. The etiology of female sexual problems is often complex. It may include sexual medicine issues related to biologic etiologies including neurologic, hormonal, vascular and anatomic components as well as psychological issues relating to socio-cultural, emotional, cognitive and relationship concerns. We are aware that female sexual dysfunction research is still a relatively new field and continuing research is needed to further elucidate the etiological factors that contribute to female sexual disorders. We advocate the development of safe and effective treatments, both biological and psychosocial-cultural in nature, for women who are suffering from these conditions. Although not all treatments will work equally for everyone, women deserve to have a variety of treatment options and for their voices to be heard. In light of this, we call upon all the stakeholders, including government regulators, to move the bar of available therapies forward.

I fully agree with the content of the ISSWSH position paper and officially endorse this statement click here to sign on.

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Dr. Pacik

About Dr. Pacik

Peter Pacik, MD, FACS is a recognized pioneer in treating patients with Botox for vaginismus and the author of When Sex Seems Impossible: Stories of Vaginismus and How You Can Achieve Intimacy. He has been in practice for over thirty years and belongs to a small group of prestigious surgeons who are double board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In 2010, Dr. Pacik received FDA approval to continue his study to treat vaginismus using intravaginal injections of Botox together with progressive dilation under anesthesia.
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