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Heather Jeffcoat at Buzzfeed
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questions you are too embarrassed to ask
When Buzzfeed journalist Shelby Heinrich did a deep dive with her readership into the "questions you are too embarrassed to ask", I was honored to help. There were 15 questions in all, and here is a brief synopsis of the article, along with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Questions You Are Too Embarrassed To Ask When it Comes to "Down There"

We asked the BuzzFeed Community if they ever had a question about ~down there~ that they might be too embarrassed or intimidated to ask, and they came through with lots of insightful questions! So, we reached out to Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a licensed pelvic floor physical therapist and owner of Femina Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, to answer your pelvic health inquiries.

Here is a sampling of the questions you are too embarrassed to ask:

1. "Why do I have to pee so often? I barely drink any liquids throughout the day, because otherwise I’d be peeing even more than I already am."

Dr. Jeffcoat:

Patients will often tell me they restrict their fluid intake in order to reduce their urinary frequency, and are surprised when they have to pee more often. This happens because when you restrict your fluid intake, your urine becomes more concentrated, which acts as an irritant to your bladder, much in the same way that alcohol, and spicy or acidic food and drink will affect your bladder.

5."How can I stop having painful penetrative sex, and would a pelvic floor therapist help? If so, do I need a referral from my OB-GYN to see one?"

Dr. Jeffcoat:

A pelvic floor physical therapist is a crucial part of your care team if you're experiencing painful penetrative sex. Many states allow Direct Access for receiving a physical therapy evaluation and treatment. However, most offices that specialize in pelvic health still require medical clearance from a physician, since pelvic health specialists can’t test for infection, hormonal insufficiencies, or other medical causes of your pain. Many patients will come to my office and say, "My doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with me," which usually means the muscles and tissue in the area are contributing to the problem. This is exactly what a pelvic floor physical therapist will address.

11."I have difficulty urinating after sex, since I'm unable to get my body to relax enough to release anything. I know I’m supposed to urinate after, but is there anything I can do if I physically cannot urinate until much later? Is there anything I can do to try to relax my urethra enough to be able to pee?"

Dr. Jeffcoat:

Try taking the focus away from your urethra, and instead focus on general relaxation. You can do this while sitting on the toilet:

  1. Place your hands on the sides of your ribs. Take in a slow, five-second inhale. As you inhale, feel your ribs expand toward your hands. Visualize your lungs filling up with air and pushing your diaphragm downward.
  2. Hold your breath for two seconds.
  3. Slowly exhale for six to seven seconds.
  4. Repeat step 1, but now add the visual on the inhale of your pelvic floor muscles dropping and getting soft or heavy (whatever visual seems most relaxing to you). Don't tell your muscles to “relax," as that rarely works.
  5. Hold your breath for two seconds.

For answers to more of the questions you are too embarrassed to ask, click here to continue to the full article.

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** This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. **

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      I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be. It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally...

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      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...

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