My background is nursing and I written over 350 sexual health and pleasure articles for our online magazine as well as other online websites, such as So Feminine, Female First, Net Doctors, Healthista, the Independent, Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Star, Good Housekeeping, Glamour magazine and the Metro. I have also written articles for 2 cancer support groups,chris-cancercommunity and wombcancersupportuk.
New research published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology ( 2016) found that nearly 1 in 10 women experience painful sex, known as dyspareunia but don’t seek help because of embarrssment or they think they have to put up with it. The study of 7000 women aged between 16-74 found women in their late 50s and early 60s were mainly affected and younger women aged 16-24.
We created the Jo Divine health brochure with Consultant urogynaecologist Mr Alex Slack, Women’s Health physiotherapist Pip Salmon and gynaecology ward manager Lynda Wickenden at Tunbridge Wells Hospital who recognise that sexual pleasure and intimacy is important to many people.
They wanted to offer products that can be used in conjunction with medical dilators and sexual lubricants to encourage their patients to use them or as an alternative to help post operative scarring, vaginal tightness, vaginismus, post childbirth and when sex feels painful.
They also wanted to help their patients with decreased sexual sensation following surgery and cancer treatment or as a result of a medical condition.
The health brochure includes:
Samantha also discusses the health brochure in the informative video.
I have spoken to other healthcare professionals including the South Coast of England Women’s Health physiotherapist forum.
I gave a talk at the Survivorship Multidisciplinary Conference for National Forum of Gynaecology Oncology Nurses and the British Gynaecology Cancer Society about the health brochure and related articles on Jo Divine magazine offering help, advice practical tips and links to suitable products for women who experience vaginal tightness, vaginal dryness, post op scarring, desensitisation and pelvic floor weakness.
“Thanks so much, I saw your little video on the website and thank you for being so straight forward about everything. I’ve been putting off doing anything for ages as I thought it would be intimidating but finally feel I have found a good resource. I’ll read the brochure and definitely be back in touch to order some stuff” (customer with ovarian cancer)
Our health brochures have been given out at the Womens Health Summit for physiotherapists held in Walsall for the last 2 years, many of whom use our website as a resource for sexual advice for their patients. The womens health physiotherapists are amazing healthcare professionals who work hard to ensure their patients enjoy good sexual health.
“Samantha’s products and information has been a life changer for many of my patients. Her web site is definitely one worthy of a view and also to signpost patients/clients to. Your website is a god send as far as I’m concerned!! Most of my patients don’t want to look at the likes of Ann Summers, they want good honest reviews of products with articles they can relate to….. really well done!” Aisling Burke WHPhysio, Kent
I gave a talk about enjoying sex after childbirth at the Mummy MOT training course for women’s health physiotherapists and I have also spoken to gynaecologists and obstetricians at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
We have sent health brochures to the Birth Trauma Association, menopause clinics across the UK and to the College Of Sex and Relationship Therapists conference
I was invited to give a talk at the Daisy Network Conference in June about sexual intimacy and pleasure. This is a amazing charity supporting women who have Premature Ovarian Insufficiency, younger women between 16-40 which leads to early menopause, the symptoms of which impact upon sexual pleasure and function, relationships and body confidence.
I am working with Diane Danzebrink who set up Menopause Support to offer advice to women throughout the menopause and beyond and Dr Louise Newson who is a GP and medical writer with a particular interest in menopause and who set up My Menopause Doctor website offering comprehensive advice about getting the right HRT for your individual needs. She also works with West Midlands Fire and Police Forces to educate people about menopause and the workplace.
Dr Louise Newson says
“Most of my patients do not have sex any more – such a shame. They change once their HRT is right though. I am amazed how few women have sex and put up with it. Also don’t know how their husbands cope. They also often say they have never been asked about sex by anyone before and are pleased to have the opportunity to talk about it. I usually recommend Jo Divine”
Our brochures are also being given out by several GPs who want their patients to enjoy better sex lives.
“Need to let you know that ++ patients have been enormously grateful for the varied articles on your website.They’ve found them incredibly helpful, reassuring and less alone/isolated. Thank you for your work – it’s much appreciated, I can assure you!” Dr Hannah Short, GP Suffolk
I am also a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Womens Involvement Panel facebook group where many of the members are women working in womens health or who have personal experience of gynaecological issues who offer their advice, experience, review guidelines and patients leaflets published by RCOG and raise awareness about the work they are doing such as support groups, national campaigns and as patient advocates to improve gynaecological treatment and care.
I am working with Womb Cancer Support, a charity run by Kaz Molloy and wrote an article about sex and womb cancer for her website to help women and their partners enjoy sexual pleasure and intimacy after treatment.
We have a video about enjoying Sex after Womb Cancer
We are also working with Cysters, a group set up by Neelam Heera in Birmingham for the BME community to help women overcome gynaecological issues they may face and the stigma that is often associated with such problems due to their intimate nature by enabling them to seek the appropriate help they require and talk about these problems which impact upon their sexual function and relationships.
We also work with the fabulous people at YES organic sexual lubricants as this is one of the best sexual lubricants I have ever used and we recommend it to all our customers as do many of the HCPs we work with in the UK. The Double Glide is ideal for women experiencing discomfort during sex, for use with a vibrator and with our dilators too.
We frequently speak to women about problems with vaginismus, post surgery tightness, scarring, desensitisation and sexual symptoms of the menopause and recommend using YES organic lubricant with a slim product. We also have couples who are looking to find ways in which to enjoy sexual intimacy even when coital sex is not possible.
We believe that sexual health and pleasure go hand in hand and finding ways in which to enjoy sexual intimacy, either using sex toys, lubricants or just changing the way in which you think about sex is important.
Getting HCPs talking about sexual issues can be difficult. So I wrote an article about why HCPs find it difficult to talk about sex with their patients and how we can change this to make it easier for patients to raise their sexual problems with their doctor at the request of Chris Lewis who set up Chris-cancercommunity.
Chris and I made a video about Sex and Cancer you can find on our YouTube channel and Chris’ website too.
Prescribing medication is not always the answer and there are many ways in which people can enjoy sex but often HCPs feel uncomfortable talking about sex, are unsure what to suggest or believe that they cannot suggest products that are not available on prescription.
The health brochure is available free of charge to healthcare professionals in the UK to give to their patients and the general public. Please email or call to request a brochure.
We also have a Jo Divine catalogue including male sex toys and products which can help with male sexual health issues in addition to the male sexual health category in our online magazine.
I am more than happy to talk to you or your patients on the phone if you have any questions. All information remains confidential.
Chris’s Cancer Community: http://www.chris-cancercommunity.com
Womb Cancer Support: http://wombcancersupportuk.weebly.com
Menopause Support: http://www.menopausesupport.co.uk
My Menopause Doctor: http://www.menopausedoctor.co.uk
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