ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Dyspareunia - understanding sexual pain
This is an important component of the sexual health work done at the Townsville Sexual Health Unit - unlike other sexual health services there is not many others that have the capacity, capability or willingness to talk about sexual function, pain and good sex with their clients. Townsville works within a sexual 'health' model - a wellness model - and therefore having an enjoyable sex life is just as important as ensuring that the client is disease free.
Dyspareunia is a major issue with many women (and men) and the 'pyscho-sexual' issues can be overwhelming for some people who suffer pain with sex. Learning how to help people with sex pain isvital for sexual health practitioners - there are no sex therapists in the regional and remote areas (generally) - there are none that I know of in Townsville. It was therefore really important for sexual health clinicians to learn from the 4 speakers and the chair of this session on Wednesday (8th Nov).
one area that struck a cord with me was the model of bad sex and how it can be reversed. Many clients have sex out of 'duty' which leads to anxiety, tension, lack of arousal and painful sex. As a clinician giving the client 'permission' to say no to sex for a time frame where some pain relief strategies can be in place or developed with the client and their partner was really important. Many clients may not