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what experts want you to know about pelvic pain
How do you know that pelvic pain treatment is finally getting the recognition it deserves? Coverage like this from Vogue is one sure sign. When Anne Lora Scagluisi reached out to me for this article I was of course excited to be able to speak directly to the Vogue readership about how to reverse pelvic pain for not only a better sex life but a better overall sense of well being. That said, here are some excerpts from the article. There will be a link to the full article at the end.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

What Experts Want You to Know About Pelvic Pain

With women’s health concerns often brushed under the carpet by society, there is no better time to get health authorities’ attention and start an honest conversation. A recent survey found that more than four in five women were not listened to by healthcare professionals.

Many women reported that their symptoms were not taken seriously, that they had to persistently advocate for themselves to secure a diagnosis, and if they did secure a diagnosis, there were limited opportunities to discuss or ask questions about treatment options.

According to an article published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, women with chronic pelvic pain use three times more medication, have four times more surgery and are five times more likely to undergo hysterectomy than women without the condition.

So in short, mainstream medicine not only has trouble diagnosing pelvic pain issues, but when they do reach a diagnosis their blanket approach is often either pills or the knife - or both. At Femina Physical Therapy, we believe there are often better solutions that don’t involve drugs or surgery, with treatments tailored to each individual depending on not only the diganosis but other factors such as diet, lifestyle, history of injuries, and the woman’s particular symptoms:

Symptoms of pelvic pain

Los Angeles-based Dr Heather Jeffcoat, President of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy and Advisory Board at International Pelvic Pain Society, lists nine symptoms of pelvic pain:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Severe or chronic constipation
  3. Bladder pain (also presents as urinary frequency and formerly known as interstitial cystitis)
  4. Rectal pain
  5. Heavy periods with clots larger than the size of a Singaporean 20 cent piece
  6. Extreme bloating
  7. Missing school or work because of pain
  8. Painful tampon insertion or penetrative intercourse
  9. Painful orgasm

With a myriad of potential causes and symptoms, it’s no wonder that practitioners who are not specifically trained in pelvic health can sometimes dismiss and/or misdiagnose certain symptoms? From the article:

A misdiagnosis often leads to a delay in care. Endometriosis has an average of 11 years from first symptom until formal diagnosis. A lengthy delay like this can lead to long-term changes in the central nervous system—a process known as central sensitisation.

The difference between acute and chronic pain is that when we have a temporary instance of acute pain, our body can disassociate itself from the threat, and therefore our brain does not really have to process much beyond the moment of pain followed by the resolution.

When we have chronic pain however, our body can’t continue to ignore the ongoing threat (e.g. endometriosis or other chronic pelvic pain) and our brains are continually processing this pain input. This phenomenon can turn lingering pain into becoming unbearable which can be exacerbated by such things as riding a bike, wearing tight jeans, etc. Additionally, the pain can spread to a larger area. So the longer the pain goes on, the more important it becomes to discover the underlying causes of the pain and seek proper solutions.

Click here for the full article on what experts want you to know about pelvic pain, or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.

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What Our Patients Have to Say


Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by Carolina J.

I had tried Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy before (with another PT) and I had a really bad (painful) experience. A friend of mine and fellow patient, told me about Heather, Laureen and Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) and I decided to try again. I am so happy I did! Femina PT have, literally, changed my life. I was able to do again things I couldn't do for over 10 years!! Their bedside manners are impeccable, their knowledge and understanding make me feel comfortable to recommend this place to anyone in pain. Specially if you have Endometriosis. 100% recommended!!

-- Carolina J., 12/28/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

-- Amanda W., 2/15/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.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 Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

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