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  • Healthline | Hey Vulva Owners, Your Sexual Peak May Last Longer Than You Think

    Your Sexual Peak May Last Longer Than You Think
    The highly respected website Healthline has penned this article in which the author Gabrielle Kassel delves into your sexual peak and just when it may occur. Here is a brief synopsis of the article including my quotes, along with a link to the full article below.

    Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

    What to expect in your 30s

    For vulva owners, the 30s might as well be called the Do It All decade.

    It’s a time when many vulva owners are trying to build a career, sustain a (or many) romantic relationship(s), be a parent, spend time with friends, and more. Because the entire endocrine system is connected, when your cortisol levels surge, it can throw your sex hormones out of whack. That’s why this can be a decade of sky-high stress and ground-low libido, especially for new parents.

    Heather Jeffcoat, a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in sexual dysfunction and incontinence, adds that the body goes through a temporary period during pregnancy and breastfeeding that mirrors menopause.

  • Livestrong | Why Sex Can Be Painful After Menopause

    image depicting why sex can be painful after menopause
    When Emilia Benton reached out to me for an article she was working on for Livestrong, her intent was to give a brief overview of why sex can be painful after menopause and the various treatment options being offered. Of course I was glad to put in my two cents for pelvic floor physical therapy as a big piece of the puzzle.

    Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

    Learn Why Sex Can Be Painful After Menopause - And What You Can Do About It

    First we had the Baby Boom, and then the Menopause Boom. Since then we've learned a lot about what menopause is all about, but as happens with any time of change in our lives, there are still a number of questions to be answered. One of the more common ones concerns why sex can be painful after menopause.

    Some of the answers to this question will be familiar to any woman who has experienced insufficient lubrication for any number of reasons, often to the point where they either cannot enjoy sex to the fullest - or cannot even do it at all due to the pain and discomfort. But during the fertile period of a woman's life, these issues can often be corrected depending on the cause.

  • Management of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause | Non-Hormonal Treatments for GSM

    non-hormonal treatments for GSM

    There Are Several Options For Non-Hormonal Treatments for GSM.

    Some include hormones, while others do not.

    Today we will review some non-hormone treatment options. As always, consult with your physician to help you make the best decisions regarding your health.

  • Menopause and Pelvic Health

    menopause and pelvic health

    What are the Links Between Menopause and Pelvic Health?

    Menopause is a period of life transition for many of us. Today we will review what menopause is and how symptoms can negatively affect pelvic health, including bowel, bladder and sexual function.

    What Happens During Menopause?

    Menopause is an important life transition for those with female anatomy, marking the end of the regular menstrual cycle and the transition to life beyond the reproductive period.

    Babies born with female anatomy have a set number of eggs which are stored in their ovaries. The ovaries make the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control monthly periods and ovulation. Menopause happens when ovaries no longer regularly release an egg every month and menstruation stops.

  • Parade | Dealing With Low Libido? Here’s How to Orgasm After Menopause

    how to orgasm after menopause
    As part of our whole body approach here at Femina PT, we look at a woman's ability to enjoy a good orgasm as an indicator of not just good pelvic health, but overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing as well. When Jennifer Geddes was penning an article for Parade on the subject of how to orgasm after menopause, she wanted to know more about the role pelvic health plays in the postmenopausal "Big O" puzzle so she reached out to me for my take. Here are some snippets from the article with my comments mixed in. A link to the original article is included below.

    Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

    Tips From the Experts on How to Orgasm After Menopause

    And why it often comes down to "use it or lose it"

    Let's presume you are a postmenopausal woman whose overall health is good. You eat right, get enough exercise, and live a mostly pain-free, comfortable life. Even with all that going for you, chances are your sex life has slowed down a bit from when you were younger. This is only natural, but it doesn't mean you have to shun sex altogether or enjoy it any less when that moment arrives.

    As the article states:

    No more periods, cramping, bloating or PMS to ruin your mood—or your plans between the sheets? It may sound divine, but entering the menopausal phase of your life can also come with a few downsides.

    In short, take stock in the freedom this gives you to explore this new phase of life! Sure there are other challenges, but try to see the glass as half full, not the other way around.

  • Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Menopause

    pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause

    September is Healthy Aging Month!

    Curious about pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause? Read on.

    You’ve probably already considered a visit to your primary care doctor and your gynecologist. But what about pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause?

    About 6,000 women enter menopause every day in the US, usually between the ages of 45 and 55; and as life expectancy increases, so does the number of years most women will spend on the other side of it. Approximately half of all women can expect to live 40% of their lives in the post-menopausal stage. It makes sense to develop a solid strategy for optimal health, the earlier the better – and regular physical therapy can be an important component of that plan.

  • Return to Sex after a Hysterectomy

    Getting back to activities like sex after a hysterectomy can be intimidating. 

    Learn what a hysterectomy is, how it can affect your sexual function, and what pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy can do to help. 

    What is a hysterectomy?

    Acording to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. It is a common type of surgery for women in the United States.

    • Hysterectomy is used to treat many women’s health conditions including:
    • Uterine fibroids (this is the most common reason for hysterectomy)
    • Endometriosis (although it states this on ACOG, it is more correct for this to state Adenomyosis, which is endometriosis in the uterus. Please be clear -- a  hysterectomy is NOT a cure for endometriosis).
    • Pelvic support problems (such as uterine prolapse)
    • Abnormal uterine bleeding
    • Chronic pelvic pain
    • Gynecologic cancer
  • September is Healthy Aging Month: Menopause and How it Affects Your Genitals

    Woman with cat Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

    September is Healthy Aging Month! In recognition, this blog will talk about Menopause and how it can affect your genitals and sexual function.

    What Happens During Menopause?

    Menopause marks the end of the regular menstrual cycle and the transition to life beyond the reproductive period.

    Babies born with female anatomy have a set number of eggs which are stored in their ovaries. The ovaries make the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control monthly periods and ovulation. Menopause happens when ovaries no longer regularly release an egg every month and menstruation stops.

  • The History of Estrogen Therapy

    history of estrogen therapy

    The History of Estrogen Therapy - A Cure for Hot Flashes, Insomnia, Vaginal Discomfort and More?

    Hello, menopause! If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, your doctor may have recommended some form of menopausal hormone therapy.

    But is it safe?
    When should you start?
    And which therapy is right for you?

    Researchers have been trying to answer those questions for decades, often with confusing and even conflicting results. Let’s take a look at the history of estrogen therapy, and how past studies are informing the latest recommendations.

    A French physician coined the word ‘menopause’ in the 1800s and advanced the revolutionary idea that the health concerns of aging women deserved medical attention. Throughout that century, doctors experimented – sometimes on themselves – with various animal hormones. The science was far from perfected; but by the 1890s, women were being treated successfully for symptoms of menopause with a powder or pill made from cow ovaries.

  • Video | Meet the Experts Interviews Heather Jeffcoat, DPT on Sexual Health During Menopause

    Meet the Experts | Michelle Lyons Interviews Heather Jeffcoat on Sexual Health During Menopause

    Michelle Lyons interviews Heather Jeffcoat, DPT.

    Michelle Lyons is a women's health physiotherapist, who hosts a YouTube channel to discuss and educate women on topics related to helping women live well. Heather Jeffcoat was a featured guest on Michelle Lyons Youtube Channel to discuss sexual health during menopause.   

    Michelle & Heather discuss the following topics related to sexual health during menopause:

      • loss of lubrication

      • the negative impact of body image, toxins, sleep disruption, and other factors can have on sexual health during menopause

      • the importance of education the genital-urinary symptoms and changes that occur during menopause and how that can impact sexual function

      • Heather's book, "Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve"
  • What is Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) and Why Every Woman Should Know About It

    Every person with a uterus will experience menopause during their lifetime.

    Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a term that describes the different genital, sexual, and urinary signs and symptoms that can occur during menopause.

    The symptoms of GSM can greatly affect quality of life, so it is important to be aware the signs so that you can seek out appropriate care and support from your healthcare team.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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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 M.N., age 28

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

I was diagnosed with vaginismus 4 years ago. I never heard of such medical condition until after I got married. At first my husband and I didn't know what to do, we didn't know what the issues were or how to overcome it. Being born and raised in Armenia and being Christian I wasn't that open about talking to sex with others and so it wasn't easy to seek help. But eventually I went to an Ob-Gyn and luckily she knew about the medical condition (not many doctors know). She referred me to a physical therapist and I couldn't believe it and thought it's something I can handle myself. I ordered a kit from vaginismus.com and started practicing with dilators. There was some small progress but wasn't much helpful.

Read more …

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 Ann V.

I wish i could give this place 10 stars!! 
I have been suffering from vaginismus for 5 years and never found the cure to it. I had seen an ob/gyn and he diagnosed me with vaginismus and told me i needed a surgery to cure my condition, which i refused to do. He also referred me to a PT that he works with, i had given them multiple calls and they never responded back to me, so i started searching yelp for another PT. I am SO HAPPY I found Heather's office! I was working with Laureen, and with her guidance and techniques i was able to be cured from vaginismus in only 2 1/2 short months!!! I couldn't believe how quickly their program worked for me! I am forever grateful and thankful from Heather, and Laureen! They are the absolute best at what they do!

Read more …

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 R.H.

No one could tell me why I was having pain during sex--sharp pain, not just uncomfortable, pain. I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat after researching several different options. I had seen a specialist who told me physical therapy would not help and my only option was surgery. I really didn't want to go that route, so when we got a referral, I decided to try it--it can't hurt, I thought. I am so glad I did. She diagnosed the problem right away, which was a relief in itself.

To know why I was having pain eased my mind immensely. And to hear that she could fix it without surgery was another relief. She said she could fix the problem in 6 weeks. I think it was actually 4 for me. She was very methodical, and treated me as an intelligent human being capable of participating in my own recovery. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. She did not try to prolong my session numbers, she worked hard to accommodate my schedule (and the fact that I had to bring a baby to sessions), and she was completely honest the entire time. It is so hard to find someone with these characteristics, much less a professional who is so good at what she does. She has my highest respect.

-- R.H.

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