Image: HANX

Sexual wellness brand HANX has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Open Up” to raise awareness about vaginismus. The condition can make sexual activities, but also tampon use or pap-smears painful or even impossible. Last week HANX used Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to help people with vaginas have open conversations about vaginismus. Although vaginismus affects as many people as erectile dysfunction, there is little research done on the condition and to date there is no pill to treat it. Instead, the treatment is a combination of physiotherapy and psychotherapy, but shame and societal reluctance to talk openly about vaginas often hinder recovery and diagnosis.

Vaginismus is a common health condition, affecting an estimated 2 in every 1,000 people, and doctors believe as many as 1 in 2 people with vaginas will experience vaginismus at some point in their lifetimes. However, due to the shame and stigma attached to the condition and the lack of conversation around it, many will suffer in silence. The campaign aims to change this by launching a series of provocative, straight-talking out-of-home and social ads to pique interest and get the word “vaginismus” out there. The ads direct people to a website offering more information and tips for how to talk about vaginismus with their partner, doctor, or date.

HANX is also hosting an event on International Women’s Day (March 8) to bring people with vaginas together to have an honest conversation about vaginismus. By spotlighting and talking openly about vaginismus, HANX hopes to alleviate some of the shame attached to the condition. Those diagnosed with the condition will be given the tools to help them discuss vaginismus openly, alleviating some of the stigma and hopefully aiding their mental and physical recovery. Those with symptoms but as yet undiagnosed will be able to identify their potential condition and seek treatment. The campaign aims to normalise and open up necessary conversations with all genders.

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