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Poster by Dr. Vivienne Cass

A New Year's resolution for your pelvic floor health: learn your anatomy.

Have you ever looked at your genitalia in the mirror? Like REALLY looked at it?

One of the most empowering things you can do for your pelvic health is to take a look at yourself in the mirror and learn your anatomy.

Here is a quick primer on how to stay on top of what's going on down there, including tips on simple self examination and resources to find more information.

  • Perform a monthly self exam of your genitalia with a mirror and notice what’s your normal: color, size of structures, color of your secretions, smell, tissue texture, etc. Use your eyes to look and also your fingers to touch the different structures and become acquainted.
  • By giving yourself regular self-exams, you can be better aware of changes and be able to get support from your healthcare team sooner when things arise.
  • Learn where your structures are, including your clitoris, this can help you become more aware during sexual activity and more able to communicate what feels good and what doesn’t feel good to your partner. Is the left side of your clitoris more sensitive than the right? Does direct pressure over the urethra feel bad, but direct pressure over the clitoris feel good? In order to communicate what you want/need in sex, it’s helpful (I would argue mandatory) to actually know what specifically feels good to your body. It’s different for everyone and you are the best equipped to find out.
  • What does a normal vulva look like? They can look very different!
  • Check out The Labia Library for a photo gallery of different vulva: https://www.labialibrary.org.au/photo-gallery/
  • Check out @the.vulva.gallery on Instagram to see drawings of how different vulvas can look.

Need some support? Ask your gynecologist, women’s health nurse practitioner, or a pelvic floor therapist to help you go through a self exam.

Give us a call at Femina PT today!

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by A.W., age 32

I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

-- A.W., age 32
(completed Post-partum Renewal Program using the InTone biofeedback/stim unit)

Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.B.

Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

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