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Michael Castleman M.A. has written an informative article for Psychology Today about women's options for self help when it comes to painful intercourse.

According to the landmark “Sex In America” survey (1994), sexual pain afflicts around 20 percent of American women—15 percent before menopause, 33 percent after. That’s such a shame. Except for consensual BDSM, sex should never hurt, not even the first time.

Many Possible Causes

Pain on intercourse has a myriad of possible causes, among them vaginismus, rushed lovemaking, insufficient lubrication, relationship distress, birth control pills, vulvar irritation, vulvar vestibulitis, oxalate irritation, sexually transmitted infections, a history of sexual trauma, and the man inserting too quickly or deeply.

Genital pain often requires professional care. But before consulting your gynecologist, I suggest obtaining a copy of Sex Without Pain by physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT. Jeffcoat is one of a small number of health professionals specializing in evaluating and treating female genital pain. Her supportive 75-page book debunks common myths (like, "Just relax"), and provides a simple step-by-step program that has cured many women’s pain in just a few months.

The full article can be found here.

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  • 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.

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by P.M.

      I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of...

      Read more Testimonial by P.M.

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