FLORHAM PARK, N.J., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Academy Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen is never one to shy away from a conversation, even if the topic at first blush seems awkward or embarrassing. Impacting many women in the United States (U.S.), painful intercourse due to menopause is one of the most bothersome symptoms of a chronic and progressive medical condition called vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA).
"When I found out how many women don't talk about their painful intercourse, I was surprised. It amazes me that in this day and age, when it seems there is no topic considered off limits, that so many postmenopausal women remain silent," said Virginia Madsen. "It's very important for women to know they're not alone. The more women who are able to find the right words to begin this conversation, the more widespread attention we can bring to this topic."
As an advocate for women, Madsen has teamed up with Shionogi Inc. to launch a new awareness and educational campaign, Finding the Words (visit: FindingtheWords.com), to inspire women to break their silence around this common but seldom discussed medical condition. A recent survey revealed that 44% of women indicated that they never discussed symptoms such as painful intercourse with a healthcare provider. One of the most common reasons cited for not discussing their symptoms is that they believed it was a natural part of aging (REVIVE).
"These days, about one-third of a woman's life could be spent in her menopausal years. I'm a confidante to many of my close girlfriends and we talk a lot about what we are experiencing as our bodies change, and I can tell you that intimacy remains important to women at any age," added Madsen.
FindingtheWords.com offers important resources to help women who are seeking information feel more empowered to begin the conversation with a healthcare provider about painful sexual intercourse due to menopause.
"Painful intercourse due to menopause is a symptom of a real medical condition caused by physical changes of the vagina that lead to vaginal aging. There are treatment options that can be considered, especially as sexual health plays an important role in a woman's overall general health," said Ricki Pollycove, M.D., M.S., OB/GYN and Clinical Faculty at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. "But treatment cannot happen without an open and honest dialogue occurring between women and their healthcare provider."
About Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy (VVA)
Vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA) is a chronic and progressive medical condition caused by decreased estrogen levels. Declining estrogen levels during menopause can cause tissues of the vaginal lining to grow thinner and become more fragile. Menopause also causes increases in vaginal pH. These physiological signs that characterize aging of the vagina can lead to moderate to severe dyspareunia (painful intercourse) due to menopause.
Shionogi Inc. is the U.S.-based subsidiary of Shionogi & Co., Ltd., a Japanese pharmaceutical company with a distinguished 135-year history of discovery and development of innovative therapies. Shionogi Inc. continues this focus on the development and commercialization of high quality medicines to meet patient needs, while recognizing and addressing the highly personal nature of healthcare. In the U.S., Shionogi Inc. is primarily focused on two therapeutic areas, women's health and pain. Pipeline products are in the areas of allergy, oncology, anti-infectives, and endocrinology. For more details, please visit www.shionogi.com. For more information on Shionogi & Co., Ltd., please visit www.shionogi.co.jp.
© 2013Shionogi Inc. Florham Park, NJ. All rights reserved. SHI13-000-064-00.
SOURCE Shionogi Inc.