~The DiVA Circle is Challenging Canadian Women to Talk Openly About VA, Encouraging them to Elevate the Dialogue~
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Dedicated Influencers on Vaginal Atrophy (DiVA) Circle is calling for Canadian women to once and for all break the taboo of discussing vaginal atrophy (VA), a chronic and common condition of menopause. The time to discuss VA is now.
VA, which is caused by estrogen deficiency, affects approximately 45 per cent of postmenopausal women1 and can have a negative impact on a woman's sexual intimacy, relationships, confidence and overall health.
The DiVA Circle is a group of healthcare professionals who have come together to help empower women and encourage them to feel comfortable talking about VA with friends, partners and physicians.
"Despite the impact of VA, the condition still remains underdiagnosed," said Dr. Marla Shapiro, CTV News Medical Consultant, Associate Professor, University of Toronto and certified menopause expert. "The fact is women are embarrassed to talk about VA, and until we change the perception that it is okay to talk about vaginal health and menopause, women are not going to have the conversations that can lead to proper diagnosis and improved quality of life."
The DiVA Circle includes: Dr. Marla Shapiro, CTV News Medical Consultant, Associate Professor, University of Toronto and certified menopause expert; Dr. Vivien Brown, Vice President of MEDISYS Health Group, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto and certified menopause expert; Maureen McGrath, RN, Host of CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show and leading women's health expert and Dr. Jeff Habert, Family Physician, Lecturer, University Of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Investigating Coroner, City Of Toronto.
The DiVA Circle is hosting the event DiVA Dialogue: Let's Talk about Sexual Intimacy, Relationships and Health in Menopause at the National Women's Show, Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday, November 8, 2014, 2 p.m.
The DiVA Circle Dares You to Start the VA Dialogue – Are You Up for the Challenge?
Take action by following the DiVA Circle's VA Dialogue Tips:
1. Get Informed
A new website, StartTalkingVA.ca, has been launched to help women learn more about VA. It is important to know that there are solutions for VA, and it begins with starting the conversation.
2. Speak to Your Doctor
Be your own health advocate and speak to your doctor. According to recently updated guidelines from The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), a leading authority on women's health issues, there are effective treatments available. The SOGC recommends low-dose local estrogen therapy as the backbone of effective treatment for VA.2
3. Talk to Your Partner
Almost 60 per cent of women who experience VA avoid intimacy due to its symptoms.1 Find a comfortable way to approach the subject with your partner.
4. Talk with Other Women
Many women think VA has a negative impact on their self-esteem and will limit their comfort of doing what they want to do. Together, women can help each other regain confidence and enjoy this time of their life.
To learn more about VA and tips to start the dialogue, visit www.StartTalkingVA.ca.
VA is a common, treatable condition of menopause where the vaginal walls become thin, fragile and inflamed due to a reduction of estrogen.3 Vaginal symptoms include burning, itching, dryness, painful intercourse, urgency with urination, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections.4 VA can affect overall health, sexual intimacy, relationships and self-confidence.5
About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, visit www.novonordisk.ca.
1 Simon JA, Nappi RE, Kingsberg SA, Maamari R, Brown V. Clarifying Vaginal Atrophy's Impact on Sex and Relationships (CLOSER) survey: emotional and physical impact of vaginal discomfort on North American postmenopausal women and their partners. Menopause. 2014;21(2):137–42.
2 SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline: Managing Menopause. Available at: http://sogc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/gui311CPG1409Eabstract1.pdf. Last accessed October 2014.
3 Mayo Clinic: Vaginal Atrophy Definition. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-atrophy/DS00770. Last accessed October 2014.
4 Mayo Clinic: Symptoms. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/basics/symptoms/con-20025768. Last accessed October 2014.
5 Nappi RE, Kokot-Kierepa M. Vaginal Health: Insights, Views & Attitudes (VIVA) – results from an international survey. Climacteric. 2012;15:36–44.
SOURCE: Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
For further information: For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the DiVA Circle experts, please contact: Lisa Cancian, GCI Group (Canada), 416.486.5906, [email protected]