The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University
The Patty Brisben Foundation collaborated with this center on a groundbreaking research study, the largest to date that documents breast cancer survivors' sexual difficulties and assesses survivors' interest in sexual enhancement products as a means to improving their sexual function.
This study was accepted for publication in a top peer-reviewed scientific journal, Cancer Nursing, which is read by the women and men who most commonly interact with and support breast cancer patients. It was published in fall of 2008.
This study was important for several reasons:
- One of the few papers to focus exclusively on women who received a breast cancer diagnosis prior to age 50, and who often have unique sexuality and fertility concerns, particularly if they are experiencing complications related to treatment such as premature or surgically induced menopause.
- These young survivors had significantly lower sexual functioning scores across most domains (e.g., sexual arousal, desire, satisfaction, orgasm).
- More than 95 percent of the survivors studied indicated that cancer had adversely affected their sexuality.
- Those who were currently in active treatment very often were experiencing problems related to pain.
- Important to note that 61% of the women in treatment were experiencing vaginal dryness.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The Patty Brisben Foundation supports the University of Cincinnati’s Postgraduate Fellowship Training Program in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REO). Support targets the fellows’ research and training related to women’s reproductive and sexual health taking place at the Center for Reproductive Health.The fellows’ current research studies include: intimacy after cancer treatment, menopause, and treatment of pelvic pain.
National Vulvodynia Association
The Patty Brisben Foundation currently funds a National Vulvodynia Outcomes Treatment Registry, a research study focused on finding the best course of treatment for patients suffering from vulvovaginal pain.
The Foundation has funded "Everything You Need to Know about Vulvodynia" an online tutorial for women with vulvodynia on the association’s site, nva.org, which has brought awareness to the under-researched and typically little-discussed topic of vaginal pain disorders.
- Teaches women about their anatomy and physiology, vulvodynia, chronic pain and sexual health
- Helps women overcome feelings of isolation and embarrassment about having vulvodynia
- Encourages women to speak openly about their condition with their medical providers, family members, and friends
- Provides coping strategies for the life challenges having vulvodynia presents
- Encourages affected women to maintain healthy intimate and family relationships
- Emphasizes the importance of seeking appropriate medical care
- Empowers affected women to advocate for themselves and others suffering from vulvodynia.
The Patty Brisben Foundation’s partnership with the National Vulvodynia Association has also introduced an online educational program to healthcare providers. The goal is to share knowledge about vulvodynia, its causes, and possible treatment options.
North American Menopause Society
The Patty Brisben Foundation supports “Sexual Health and Menopause,” an online educational program that can be found at menopause.org.“Sexual Health and Menopause” is designed to share information with the millions of women entering menopause (and their partners) who want to get a handle on what menopause might mean for their sex lives. Although most women experience some changes in sexual function as they age, menopause and aging certainly do not signal the end of a woman’s sex life.
Apply for Funding
What is the process for choosing organizations to support? The Patty Brisben Foundation's Board of Directors votes on the grants that it will fund. Any nonprofit that seeks funding from the Foundation for a project/program related to women’s sexual health is invited to submit a grant request.
Click here to download the 2013 Grant Application.