3 out of 4 women experience pain during sex at some point. However, for women with vaginismus, sex isn’t just painful. Due to involuntary muscle spasms, it can be outright impossible.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy has helped many women’s health conditions. These include urinary incontinence, prolapse, physical changes after childbirth, and more. But did you know that it can help if you’re suffering from vaginismus as well?
If you have vaginismus, you’re probably anxious about what happens at pelvic floor physiotherapy. You might even doubt whether it can help you.
Keep reading. We’ll share how the benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy can help you have less pain during sex. We’ll even help you find physiotherapists in Brampton who will be sensitive and supportive as you work through your pain.
Vaginismus and Sexual Pain Disorders
Simply put, vaginismus is a disorder characterized by an abnormal tightening of the pelvic floor muscles. The muscles get so tight that nothing can penetrate the vagina. Vaginismus prevents sexual penetration, but can also prevent medical vaginal exams from taking place.
Vaginismus is an involuntary condition. It’s related to genitopelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD), found in the DSM V.
There is no single cause of vaginismus. For most people, it’s caused by a combination of psychological and physiological factors.
For instance, anxiety about sex can cause the body to tighten the pelvic floor. Over time, feeling embarrassed about this condition can cause even more anxiety. If a person has had painful sex in the past, fear of pain can cause the muscles to tighten even more.
GPPPD is diagnosed when a person experiences:
- Pain of the pelvic floor before attempted penetration
- Anxiety or fear about the penetration
- The pelvic floor muscles tensing up before penetration
In addition to diagnosable vaginismus, 75% percent of women experience pain during sex. Whether you have qualified vaginismus, or simply experience pain or muscle spasms during penetration, pelvic floor physiotherapy in Brampton can help.
Can Physiotherapy Help Vaginismus?
Pelvic and sexual pain often go undiagnosed and untreated. That’s because many people feel self-conscious to bring up intimate pain, and few treatments exist.
Some health care providers recommend medical or surgical interventions to treat these conditions. However, surgery can be time-consuming, painful, and intimidating. The idea of having surgery to correct vaginismus can compound anxiety even more.
However, internal pelvic floor physiotherapy can be a better choice. Although it’s an underused intervention, pelvic floor physiotherapy has many benefits:
- It’s non-invasive
- It can proceed at the patient’s pace
- The patient performs the moves, so there’s more patient control
- It targets pelvic floor muscles, which are the cause of vaginismus
Unlike surgery, pelvic floor physiotherapy lets you have control over your treatment. When you come to physiotherapy in Brampton, you’re an active participant in your own healthcare. This leads to more confidence and less anxiety, which can further help relax your muscles.
Physiotherapy also demands less commitment than surgery. You can try a few sessions to see if it’s comfortable for you.
What Happens at Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Going to physiotherapy for an intimate issue like vaginismus can be intimidating. However, you don’t have to be apprehensive.
Brampton pelvic physiotherapy starts with a thorough assessment. The physiotherapists will make sure you feel comfortable as they assess:
- Your gait (way of walking)
- Movement patterns
- Strength and mobility
They’ll also ask you questions to understand aspects of your overall health, including:
- Exercise patterns
- Fluid intake
- Sexual activity
- Where the pain occurs
- When the pain or spasm happens, and how long it lasts
- How the pain feels
Some aspects of a pelvic floor physio exam are internal. This means that a therapist medically examines inside the body to figure out what treatment you need.
However, if your vaginismus prevents medical assessment, don’t worry. Your pelvic floor therapist is competent to set a treatment plan anyway.
By the time you’ve completed your assessment, you’ll feel comfortable with your physiotherapist. Next, you can begin physiotherapy exercises.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Exercises
Your pelvic floor physiotherapy exercises will be non-invasive and gentle. In general, they’ll consist of:
- Deep, diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing) exercises
- Learning stretches that focus on pelvic floor mobility
- Exercises to promote pelvic floor strength and mobility
- Relaxation techniques to help relax your muscles
As your muscles relax, you may be able to progress to internal pelvic floor physiotherapy. This lets the therapist work with your muscles from the inside. However, this depends on your comfort level and ability to tolerate.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy at Home
It’s helpful to go to a clinic with therapists who are trained in pelvic floor physiotherapy. You’ll get the best assessment and access to all the equipment and expertise you need.
You can continue pelvic floor physiotherapy at home by doing your exercises when you’re not in the clinic. As your muscles relax, you can progress to internal work, which will require you to be in the presence of your therapist.
Start Healing With Brampton Pelvic Physiotherapy
Vaginismus is a painful condition that can seriously impact your relationship and health. Too often, we don’t talk about this condition, and women don’t get the help they need.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can be a gentle, patient-controlled way to diminish pain. It puts you, the patient, back in charge of your intimate health.
Are you ready to start your journey of healing from vaginismus?
Contact us. You’ll get help from experienced physiotherapists in Brampton who will create a personalized treatment plan with you. Book your first appointment with us today.