Today many women in our community are suffering unnecessarily from painful, debilitating, and often disfiguring diseases of the vulva and vagina. To lessen their pain and suffering, they need accurate diagnoses when symptoms begin and more effective treatments.
Yet many physicians still remain ignorant about the existence of vulvodynia and similar genital pain conditions! They lack the knowledge to make proper diagnoses and to provide treatments to reduce pain and suffering. The first epidemiological study of vulvar pain conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital confirmed that 60 percent of women seeking treatment saw at least three physicians before receiving a correct diagnosis (Harlow BL, Stewart EG, JAMWA, 2003).
The petition, written by Dr. Elizabeth G. Stewart, Director Emerita of the Vulvovaginal Service at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Vulvodynia Matters Board, requests that she be allowed to present one lecture for medical students about the female lower genital tract, and more specifically about vulvovaginal disease and genital pain conditions.
Although the petition is written from the perspective of a patient, Dr. Stewart has advised us that other supporters—health care providers, family and friends—may also sign the petition. If you are a patient consider asking your primary care provider or other health care providers treating your genital pain to sign the petition.
Please print out the petition, sign it, and gather as many signatures as possible during the month of July. Our goal is to collect 500 signatures by July 31, 2012! Signed petitions are due at V-Matters by July 31, 2012 (postmarked date).
Please make a copy of your signed petition then send the original to Vulvodynia Matters at PO Box 550096, North Waltham, MA 02455. To print the petition, click Harvard Medical School Petition. For further updates about the petition drive, click Vulvodynia Matters on Facebook.
No matter how many signatures you collect, this initiative needs the support of every health care provider treating patients with genital pain conditions, every patient experiencing genital pain, and friends and family members!
Let’s take this first step to make sure that women suffering from lower genital tract diseases get an accurate early diagnosis and effective treatments from knowledgeable and properly trained physicians! Make your voice heard! Sign the petition today!