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The Staff of Femina Physical Therapy Blogs About Vaginismus, Pregnancy and Postpartum Best Practices, Treatments for Incontinence, and More

 

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Featured From the Blog:

Red Tomato sliced open to look like a vulva

Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is a condition that is poorly understood.

It is a rare disorder most commonly seen in those with female anatomy and is characterized persistent sensations of genital arousal in the absence of sexual desire or stimulation. These sensations typically stay after orgasm and are intrusive, unwanted, and can negatively affect quality of life.

The diagnosis itself is not well known among healthcare practitioners yet alone the general public. Those who experience its symptoms can be hesitant to talk about it with their healthcare practitioners even though it may be affecting their quality of life.

Read more: Persistent Genital Arousal...

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You counted down the weeks until your baby’s arrival…

now you and your partner are counting down the days until your doctor gives you the green light to have sex again.

That’s a good thing; intimacy is an important factor in your relationship and your own well-being. But whether this is your first baby, or you’re sure it’s your last, your anticipation might be tinged with some anxiety. After all, your body has been through a lot since that positive pregnancy test result.

Sleepless nights, fluctuating hormones, and breastfeeding challenges can take a toll. Perhaps you’re still healing from a C-section or a physically challenging delivery. Even if giving birth was a breeze, and this is your easiest baby yet, you may worry that your expectations aren’t in sync with your partner’s.

When it comes to your postpartum sex life, what’s the new normal? And how soon can you get there?

Read more: Sex After Childbirth –...

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If you’re facing a diagnosis of bladder cancer or a similar health concern, sex may be the last thing on your mind.

However, your sex life after a cystectomy (bladder removal surgery) should be a major consideration for any doctor who recommends it.

Sadly, research shows that’s much more likely to be true for men than it is for women. In fact – although sexual function after bladder removal is ‘routinely considered’ for male patients – surgeons in one study discussed complications that could affect pelvic health and sexual function with just 13% of female patients. Worse, the medical counseling those women got after surgery ignored the topic of sex altogether.

Read more: Sex After Cystectomy: What...

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Getting back to activities like sex after a hysterectomy can be intimidating. 

Learn what a hysterectomy is, how it can affect your sexual function, and what pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy can do to help. 

What is a hysterectomy?

Acording to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. It is a common type of surgery for women in the United States.

  • Hysterectomy is used to treat many women’s health conditions including:
  • Uterine fibroids (this is the most common reason for hysterectomy)
  • Endometriosis (although it states this on ACOG, it is more correct for this to state Adenomyosis, which is endometriosis in the uterus. Please be clear -- a  hysterectomy is NOT a cure for endometriosis).
  • Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Gynecologic cancer

Read more: Return to Sex after a...

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Mindfulness Is More Than A Mindset

From bullet journals to hot yoga, and five minute breathing exercises to weekend meditation retreats, mindfulness is the hashtag-goals wellness buzzword of the moment… and rightly so. It’s hard to argue with all the documented health benefits of being fully present in your activities and relationships.

But is mindfulness a magic cure for painful sex? That’s what many of my patients have been told by well-meaning friends, partners, and even medical practitioners and professional counselors. And I’ll tell you what I tell them:

The pain isn’t in your head; it’s in your muscles. It’s in your nervous system. It’s a complex interplay of the two in many cases.

Read more: Can Mindfulness Help With...

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Hetero Couple in Bed

It's no surprise that if you recently had hip surgery, or have an ongoing hip issue- that your sex life could suffer. Read on for some recommendations. 

What is Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome?

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) syndrome is a disorder of the hip that typically affects young adults. It is the result of an abnormal contact between the greater trochanter of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (the socket).

FAI is one of the most common reasons why people undergo arthroscopic surgery on their hips, but many people are treated via conservative pathways (PT, rehabilitative exercise, joint injections). The symptoms of FAI syndrome include motion- or position-related hip and/or groin pain. Pain may also be felt in the back, buttock or thigh. In addition to pain, patients may also describe clicking, catching, locking, stiffness, restricted range of motion or giving way. (Griffin et al., 2016). 

Read more: Sex and Your Hip...

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A couple laughing with arms around each other.

Studies have shown that mindfulness can improve your sex life by increasing arousal, reducing sexual pain, lowering judgement, improving relationship satisfaction, and improving self esteem. Those of you who have had sessions with me in the clinic have most definitely practiced some forms of mindfulneses meditation with me, as it helps one increase connection between the brain and body, reduce anxiety, and downregulate the nervous system.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness can be defined as an open or a receptive attention to and awareness of what is taking place, both internally and externally, in the present moment (Barnes et al., 2007).

Read more: Mindfulness Can Improve Your...

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How much do we really learn about intimacy, affection, sensual touching and sex while growing up?

A lot of our references for intimacy come from what we see in our families, movies, and for sex, a lot of the time porn. What we are individually exposed to will possibly become what we think is the norm, which can then possibly skew our views towards intimacy with a partner. For instance, if a woman watches porn for a sex reference she may think her vulva has to look a certain way or that she needs to attain an orgasm with penetration or to be intimate with her partner she has to have sex, when that’s not really the case. 

Read more: Did You Know There's More...

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What They Say About Us

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

      After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has...

      Read more Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by J.B.

      My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what i learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have...

      Read more Testimonial by J.B.

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