Today continues our Women’s Health series of newsletters jam-packed with empowering education about natural solutions for sensitive and debilitating Women’s Health topics. Our goal is to inform the women we love so they can heal these problems naturally, feel great and enjoy their lives to the fullest!
Our topic today is all about… Pain with intercourse, periods and Endometriosis/Ovarian Cysts.
Pain with intercourse/intimacy
- The medical term for this is ‘dyspareunia’. This is often due to tightness in the pelvic floor muscles and fascia and often occurs due to weakness of the abdominals, hip and pelvic floor muscles. Whenever muscles are weak, the muscles and connective tissue/fascia will try to tighten up to create stability (anywhere in the body) and this creates pain. We do gentle myofascial release to help loosen these tissues and then need to address strength, posture, breathing and lifting habits as well as core stability etc to get to the root of these issues.
- While insurance typically will not cover this diagnosis as it is not considered ‘medically necessary’ (I strongly disagree), we are especially proud to offer affordable solutions to help women solve this problem at our Balance Within PT clinic.
- There can also be an emotional component to tension held in the pelvis with past traumas. This is something we are very sensitive to and that’s why we spend our first session talking about treatment options and offering our patients a variety of choices regarding whether they want to opt for gentle internal pelvic floor manual therapies or to only address symptoms externally. We often do not do any internal pelvic floor work until the 2nd or 3rd session as there is much more we need to address externally in these cases.
- Traditional PT for any pelvic pain condition often does the same type of more aggressive trigger point release and cross friction massage that does NOT feel good in this highly sensitive area; our specialized John Barnes’ myofascial release approach works wonders here as it is so gentle.
Painful periods and Endometriosis/Ovarian Cysts
- Oftentimes, tightness in the connective tissues surrounding the uterus and ovaries can contribute to pain with these conditions. The uterus has to expand just before we have our monthly period to accommodate for the growth of the uterine lining and if there’s not enough space for it to do so, then there can be quite a bit of discomfort especially as the uterus intermittently contracts during our period. We’ve had a lot of success performing MFR and visceral manipulation surrounding the uterus to relieve these symptoms. Not all endometriosis is painful, in fact, most women that have this condition do not have any pain at all so there are usually mechanical/myofascial issues for people that have pain with endometriosis.
- For ovarian cysts, gently releasing the connective tissue surrounding these areas can help greatly. We’ve even had some women in the midst of experiencing hormonal imbalances and/or menopause that found that myofascial work throughout their abdomen & pelvic area, especially around the ovaries, had greatly reduced their symptoms. The theory is that we may be restoring the ability of the hormones released from the ovaries to circulate normally throughout the body. Whether this is true or not, we are simply addressing the possible mechanical contributors to these issues. I tell women we are addressing one possible piece of the puzzle; it’s not everything but it certainly can help and there’s no downside.
Most women are surprised that Physical Therapy can be helpful for these conditions, were you?
It’s really a shame this isn’t talked about more. Imagine all the things the women we love could enjoy in their lives without these annoying problems… worrying about leaking, planning their lives around the nearest bathroom, worrying about pain with intimacy with their partner, struggling with annoying hip/back/pelvic pain that limits their ability to be active… Instead, just enjoying life and not worrying about any of these things.
At Balance Within PT, we have a ton of success resolving these issues with natural treatments… No surgeries, pain meds or pads which just treat the symptoms! Just highly specialized Physical Therapy to address the ROOT CAUSE of the problem.
Bottom Line: You don’t have to live with this! It can be fixed quite easily with PT hooray!
Thanks so much for listening, I hope this helps you or a special lady in your life. Please do forward this on to someone if you think this knowledge could help, you may just change their life! 🙂
With lots of love and possibility,
Dr. Sarah <3