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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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Therapist Nancy Hoi Wong OTR/L rolling piriformis on foam roller

Here’s a simple foam roller routine to try for a happier pelvic floor this new year.

Foam rolling is a fantastic way to manage pelvic pain by keeping your tissues hydrated with increased blood flow, reducing trigger points in the muscles and fascia, and improving mobility and range of motion. Foam rolling has also been found to increase parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest) which is also helpful in chronic pain management (Beardsley, 2015).

I often tell my patients that the pelvic is not an isolated island, in fact it’s at the center of your body and deeply intertwined with many body functions including balance, movement, toileting, and sex. Go ahead and palpate your pelvic bones- you can feel that the muscles to the back, hip, and legs all attach to the pelvis. When there is dysfunction in these muscle groups, pelvic pain, pelvic mal-alignment, and tight pelvic floor muscles can be a result. By keeping these tissues healthy and mobile can help manage your pelvic pain.

Read more: Foam Roller Refresh for a...

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Couple embracing in a pink sunset

Involving your partner in your pelvic floor therapy may improve your outcomes and your relationship.

Here are some ways you can involve your partner in your pelvic floor physical or occupational therapy:

Start Talking About Your Experience.

Both studies and clinical experience have shown that talking to your partner about your sexuality, pelvic floor issues, and sharing the progress you’re making in pelvic floor therapy can improve anxiety, reduce pain levels, and bring more intimacy to your relationship. As you transition to sex with your partner, sexual assertiveness will also help you find activities, angles, and positions that feel pleasurable, not painful to you and your partner.

Read more: How to Involve Your Partner...

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Couple kissing

Communicating with your partner about your sexuality may reduce your pelvic pain and increase your sexual function.

A 2016 study by McNicoll et al. suggests that Sexual Assertiveness, or the ability to communicate openly to your partner about your sexual experience, may reduce the pain experienced with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), increase sexual function, and encourage your partner to communicate you in ways that help boost your sexual health.

How Sexual Assertiveness May Reduce Your Pain

Pelvic pain and pain with sex may come from several different avenues, including vaginismus, vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, endometriosis, or tissue changes caused by menopause. The 2016 study by McNicoll et al. specifically worked with women with provoked vestibulodynia.

Read more: Sexual Assertiveness May...

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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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What They Say About Us

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

      Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful.  My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.  After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone.  They...

      Read more Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

      I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor...

      Read more Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

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