The Vaginal Insert Therapies: Increasing Acceptance by Patients and Providers continuing education program is intended to improve provider competence and performance in practice with counseling for vaginal contraception, menopause treatments, and other therapies by identifying and addressing provider and patient biases related to the vagina.
For more information about the program, please contact Camille Harris at email@example.com or (202) 466-3825.
While sex has become less of a taboo topic in US discourse, the vagina is still considered an area that is too private to be discussed openly. Many people are conditioned from an early age to believe negative myths about the vagina including that menstruation is shameful or that the vagina is dirty and requires cleaning via douche. 4-7 These beliefs can affect how women think about the vagina and their comfort with talking about or touching their vagina for contraceptive purposes, medical necessity, or pleasure.
Health care providers can also be impacted by society’s negative perceptions of the vagina. Provider biases can limit use of effective vaginally-administered therapies including methods of contraception and treatments for vaginal atrophy. Suboptimal patient care results when providers present vaginal drug delivery mechanisms in a biased manner or with verbal or non-verbal discomfort. Many women would be amenable to vaginal inserts with some basic anatomy education and the right information, though few feel comfortable approaching the topic with their provider.1-2
Program Design and Educational Activities
Selected program components include:
At the conclusion of this program, participants should be able to:
- Increase the likelihood that your patients will appropriately select, adhere to, and be satisfied with their vaginal insert therapies
- Discuss vaginal insert therapies when counseling your patients about their contraceptive options
- Discuss vaginal insert therapies when counseling your patients about their options for treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy and menopausal symptoms
- Recognize and address barriers to effective communication, thereby minimizing patient and provider discomfort when discussing vaginal insert therapies
Intended Audience and Accreditation
Educational offerings will be developed for health care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, pharmacists, and other professionals.
The curriculum live session and webinars associated with this program will be accredited for continuing medical education, nursing contact hours (including pharmacology), and pharmacist credits.
This project is funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.
- Nappi RE, Liekens G, Brandenburg U. Attitudes, perceptions and knowledge about the vagina: The International Vagina Dialogue Survey. Contraception. 2006 May;73(5):493-500.
- Thompson MM. Women’s attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge about the vagina. SRM. 2006 Oct; 4(2):74-79.
- Alexander NJ, Baker E, Kaptein M, et al. Why consider vaginal drug administration? Fertil Steril. 2004 Jul; 82(1):1-12.
- Cooper SC, Barthalow Koch P. “Nobody told me nothin": Communicating about menstruation among low-income African-American women. Women Health, 2007;46(1):57-78.
- Grimley DM, Annang L, Foushee HR, et al. Vaginal douches and other feminine hygiene products: Women’s practices and perceptions of product safety. Matern Child Health J. 2006 May; 10(3):303-10.
- Short MB, Black WR, Flynn K. Discussions of vaginal douching with family members. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2009 Jul 28.
- Stubbs ML. Cultural perceptions and practices around menarche and adolescent menstruation in the United States. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008; 1135:58-66.
- Raine TR, Epstein LB, Harper CC, et al. Attitudes toward the vaginal ring and transdermal patch among adolescents and young women. J Adolesc Health. 2009 Sep; 45(3):262-7.