Hello dear listener! This is episode three of The Sensate Space podcast, a psychology show about vaginismus / GPPPD and other pelvic and sexual pain disorders, addressing the topic of informed consent in healthcare.

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In this episode, I’ll speak about the power of informed consent using a simple yet effective tool: the B.R.A.I.N. acronym. Whether you're faced with medical decisions for yourself or a loved one, understanding the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and the option of doing Nothing can help you to make confident and informed choices.

Informed consent is a necessary part of healthcare. At its core, it just means that a client or patient receives all the necessary information about a proposed procedure or treatment before giving their provider the go-ahead. This practice makes sure that patients are actively involved in their healthcare decisions and empowered to make choices. Informed consent is relevant regardless of the procedure, but it’s particularly important when there is risk of pain or adverse outcomes, or jeopardises your privacy. So, an example that comes to mind would be the benefits or risks of having a pelvic exam - whether the benefits outweigh the risks in that situation would depend on the individual and their unique situation. This is also discussed a little further in our free eBook guide to managing physical exams - check out thesensatespace.com for more information.

I first heard the BRAIN acronym when learning about hypnobirthing strategies from author Hollie de Cruz. Now, I can’t see where it was first identified so if you know who coined the term let me know so I can credit them!

B.R.A.I.N. is an acronym that stands for Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and Nothing. I’ll say that again - Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and Nothing. Let's take a brief look at what each component of B.R.A.I.N. represents:

B.R.A.I.N. tool for informed consent in pelvic healthcare:


To recap, by applying the B.R.A.I.N. acronym, we can engage in meaningful conversations with our healthcare providers, and make sure that we have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits, risks, alternatives, and check in with our own intuition so that we can make a fully informed decision about healthcare.

If this episode was relevant for you, you’d probably like our free eBook guide to managing physical examinations and pap smears, visit our website at www.thesensatespace.com to nab yourself a copy.

Mentioned Resources

Your Baby, Your Birth (Book)


This is a psychology podcast about vaginismus and other pelvic and sexual pain disorders, and related issues (genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder, dyspareunia, vulvodynia, painful intercourse, gynaecological pain, sexual dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain) for the purpose of education and collaboration; it’s not therapy or medical advice. Information is general in nature and does not replace individualised assessment or treatment advice. Please seek professional support tailored to your specific needs. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000). You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please see our About page for more information.

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