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common conditions affecting your clitoris
In my previous interview at Giddy, writer Kate Daniel went looking for answers to the question "Why does my clitoris hurt?". As a followup to that piece, she once again reached out to me about common conditions affecting your clitoris. Here is an overview of the topic, with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Common Conditions Affecting Your Clitoris

While primarily an organ designed for pleasure, the clitoris can also be a source of discomfort and pain for some women.

Pain in the clitoris can occur due to various reasons, and it's crucial to recognize and address these issues. Here are nine common clitoral conditions:

Clitorodynia:

This is one of the most common reasons patients visit my practice. Clitorodynia, or pain in the clitoris, is a common symptom and can be linked to various underlying causes, such as localized conditions, nerve disorders, or hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Treatment may involve medications and pelvic floor physiotherapy. As I mention in the interview, this condition can result from endometriosis, hormonal insufficiences, and painful bladder syndrome.

Hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, which can result from trauma to the pelvic floor, is another related condidition. I mention in the interview that this condition results in muscle spasms in the pelvic floor and pelvic muscles which remain tight.

Clitoral Atrophy:

Clitoral atrophy is a condition where the clitoris has shrunken which then results in less intense orgasms and lowers the abilty of arousal. This can result from low estrogen levels, often experienced by peri and postmenopausal women. Topical estrogen creams and ointments are usually recommended to alleviate symptoms.

Clitoromegaly:

Clitoromegaly involves an unusually large clitoris that does not return to its normal size after arousal. It can be caused by hormonal imbalances and in more uncommon situations can result in clitoral priaprism, where the clitoris is painful for days due to its enlargement. Treatment options include cortisone creams and hormone therapy.

Vulvar Dermatitis:

Allergic reactions to hygiene products can cause vulvar dermatitis, leading to itching, irritation, and soreness. Using fragrance-free and hypoallergenic products is advised, and treatment may include prescription anti-itch medications and corticosteroid ointments.

Vaginal Infections:

Infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, can affect the clitoris, causing pain, burning, itching, and discomfort during intercourse. Avoiding perfumed products and maintaining good hygiene can reduce the risk of these infections. Treatment includes antifungal creams and antibiotics.

Clitoral Adhesions:

Clitoral adhesions involve the preputial skin adhering to the clitoris. Depending on the severity, clitoral adhesions can cause discomfort, difficulty with arousal, pain and muted or absent orgasms, I along with Dr. Michael Krychman state. There are treatment options. I then proceed to mention, "To treat clitoral phimosis, external connective tissue and gentle adhesion releasing techniques are utilized to improve clitoral hood mobility." Treatment options range from gentle adhesion releasing techniques to surgery in severe cases.

Autoimmunity:

Conditions like lichen sclerosus and lichen planus are autoimmune disorders that can lead to inflammation, scarring, adhesion, and pain in the vulvovaginal area, including the clitoris. Discoloration, thick, and patchy skin result from this condition making intecourse painful. Steroid medications can help manage the symptoms, and surgery may be necessary in severe cases.

Nerve Damage:

Pudendal neuralgia, often due to childbirth, surgery, or intense physical activities, can cause pain, burning, and urinary/fecal incontinence in the vulvovaginal area. Treatment options include pelvic floor physiotherapy, surgery in some cases, and pudendal nerve blocks.

Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VIN):

Abnormal tissue development on the clitoris and surrounding areas can result from HPV and may lead to symptoms like itching, soreness, and painful sex. Treatment may involve topical steroid treatment or surgical removal of affected tissue in severe cases.

The Key Takeaway:

When experiencing clitoral pain or discomfort, it's important to seek professional help, including consultation with a healthcare provider, physical therapist, or gynecologist. Correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment can significantly improve one's quality of life. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene and safe sexual practices can reduce the risk of some of these conditions.

Reach out to us here if you would like to schedule an appointment, or you can access the full article at Giddy here.

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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

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 significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

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