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

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Lynda Carlye is a sex and relationship therapist and director of the Society of Australian Sexologists, Australia. Lynda has over 10 years experience in the field and presented a very engaging talk which looked at why 27.3% of women do not enjoy sex (Australian study of Health and Relationships)

Lynda kicked off her talk by going through the pathological and non-pathological reasons of vulvodynia which is a pain in one area of the vulva. Lynda established the importance of understanding the 237 reasons people have sex from the YSEX survey under the following four subcategories; physical, emotional, goal attainment and insecurity.

At a clinical service level, it is important that once organic causes have been ruled out, appropriate referrals are made within the multidisciplinary team which should include a solution focused psychosexual management/ treatment within a counselling framework for the individual and/or couple.  

Amongst many, Lynda recommended Dr. Anita Elias’s practical assessment and management tool that helps patients understand the connection between their thoughts emotions and physical sexual response.

Certainly psychosexual therapy is invaluable although public funding for this is limited and therefore a barrier for many. 

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