Hun, this shouldn’t be awkward…
Oh yes, we are going to talk about “it.” Squirm uncomfortably in your chair, take some long deep breaths, and realize that your vagina, IS NORMAL! I’m not quite sure when society deemed the pretty kitty as something other than authentically beautiful, but I’m not going to get up on my soapbox today.
Education on the pelvic floor is an aspect of healthcare that strives to become normalized. “The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that forms a supportive sling in the lower pelvis. The pelvic floor sling separates and supports pelvic organs (intestines, bladder, uterus, etc.) from the vulva.
In a woman’s body, the pelvic floor muscles attach to the strong pelvic bones but allow openings for the urethra, vagina, and anus. A healthy pelvic floor is incredibly strong and flexible so that it can contract and relax effortlessly.” While these aspects may vary from person to person, each can be worked and manipulated to better a specific outcome. Maintaining healthy pelvic floor health increases sexual arousal, orgasm release, reduces incontinence, and allows penetrative sex to be more comfortable. This is why educating women about their pelvic health options and opportunities are vital in maintaining healthy sexuality, limit discomfort, and diminish stereotypes surrounding female genitalia.
Pelvic floor problems are extremely common for men and women, although they differ among both genders. Two common issues women experience are low tone pelvic floor dysfunction and high tone dysfunction. “Low tone dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor becomes weak from disuse, damaged by surgery, or stretched without being reconditioned soon after. The muscles become too weak to sufficiently hold up the pelvic organs, or hold in urine and stool. Orgasms can feel smaller or shorter, perhaps non-existent.”
“High tone dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are overly tense, inflexible, or in spasm. Sometimes, only portions of the muscle spasm are very sensitive to movement or touch. These painful knots, or ‘trigger points’ may be isolated muscle illness within an otherwise healthy muscle group.”
There are a few ways to solve these pelvic issues. To help treat low tone dysfunction, strengthening the pelvic floor through kegel repetitions is a simple and easy way to increase orgasm intensity and build up pelvic muscles. While low tone dysfunction can be treated through exercise, high tone dysfunction needs to be diagnosed by a healthcare provider. From there, it is typically recommended that the patient see a pelvic health physical therapist who can determine the exact portions of the pelvic floor that need attention without further injuring the tightened muscles within sensitive areas.
of women experience pain during intercourse
We need to talk about our pelvis ladies!
As many as 75% of women have or will experience pain during intercourse ranging from rare occurrences to persistent pain. Women should be knowledgeable about their options regarding sexual experiences in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Women should not feel embarrassed about wanting to maintain a healthy pelvic floor! It’s an essential part of a woman’s overall health.
At Orthopedic & Spine Therapy, we have a specialized team of pelvic health physical therapists who can assist with a variety of pelvic floor issues for both men and women. Set up a free screen with any of them today by visiting our physical therapists to check pelvic floor wellness, get educated further, or simply pique curiosity.
Our door is always open!
© 2010, 2012, 2016 A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center. written with help from Erin Alft, PT, MPT & Ellen Braatz, PT, MOMT