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US News and World Report reaches out to Heather Jeffcoat for an article entitled "Tips for Better Vaginal Health"

Here is an excerpt from this thorough and very informative article by Vanessa Caceres:

For women, vaginal health is an important part of overall health. However, vaginal health is often shrouded in mystery and a little confusion. How do you keep your vaginal area clean? What can make it prone to infection? What types of vaginal odors are normal, and which ones are not? Here's a guide to help address questions you might have about vaginal health.

Basics About a Women's Genital Organs

Many people use the word vagina to describe what are actually several different body parts:

  • The outside genital organs are the vulva. The parts of the vulva include the mons pubis, labia majora/minora and the clitoris. The clitoris is an area with sensitive tissue that's associated with sexual arousal.
  • The opening from where you urinate is called the urethra. It's directly above the vaginal opening and below the clitoris.
  • The vagina itself is actually inside your body. It's a tube that connects the external genital organs with the internal genital organs, which include the cervix and uterus.
  • The vagina is lubricated by what are called the Bartholin glands.
  • The cervix is the entrance to the uterus that opens when you give birth.
  • The uterus is what carries a baby. When you have your period, your body sheds a lining from the uterus called the endometrium.

A healthy vagina has a balance of good bacteria and low pH. A pH level indicates how acidic or alkaline something is. The vagina is usually acidic. If the pH is too high, it can make you more vulnerable to vaginal infections.

Importance of Vaginal Health

Vaginal health plays a key role in overall health for a few reasons:

  • Sexual problems and vaginal health problems that recur can have an impact on your self-esteem and affect relationships, says Dr. Gil Weiss, a partner at Association for Women's Healthcare and an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, both in Chicago.
  • Recurring problems, such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, can lead to chronic pain in the vaginal area, says Heather Jeffcoat, a pelvic floor physical therapist, owner of Femina Physical Therapy in Los Angeles and author of "Sex Without Pain: A Self Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve."
  • Certain vaginal problems can be signs of other whole-body health problems. For instance, if the labia or the clitoris are becoming smaller, these can be signs of hormone deficiencies, Jeffcoat says.
  • Maintaining good vaginal health is also important for keeping sperm alive if you're trying to get pregnant.

The full article can be found here.

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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

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 trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

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 trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

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)

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