This is an area that is not often spoken about. It’s not discussed between mother and daughter or between friends; and let’s face it you need a lot of courage to bring it up with a GP or Physiotherapist. The thing is though, a lot can be done about it.
Pelvic pain really means any sort of pain in the pelvis (between your lower back and legs); it can be a sharp pain, a dull ache, a burning pain… anything really. It can be anywhere in the pelvis; it can be on the vagina, on the labia, on the clitoris. It can be there all the time, it can come and go, it can stop women from having sex and even using tampons.
Why is it there you ask? Again, the reason is different for everybody. Often people have more than one pain going on at the same time or even other odd things like irritable bowel syndrome, recurrent UTI’s or even endometriosis. You aren’t just unbelievably unlucky; often all of these things link together.
We will listen to your whole story, everything that has ever happened to you. We will look at your whole body. We will chat to and refer to anyone we need to in order to get you to be the best you possibly can be.
What we can help with
-Pain with sex (Dyspareunia, Provoked Vestibulodynia, Vaginismus).
-Pain anywhere around the vagina/vulva (Pudendal Neuralgia, Genitofemoral Neuralgia, Posterior Cutaneous Neuralgia.) This pain can be there all the time or can come and go. It can be a sharp pain, a dull ache, an itching, a burning; anything really. It can sometimes also be felt near the tail bone and down the legs.
–Bladder Pain Syndrome/ Interstitial Cystitis (pain or discomfort when your bladder is filling. i.e. between trips to the toilet. Often relieved by going to the toilet).
–Pain around the anus (Proctalgia, Proctalgia Fugax, Dyschezia). This can last from seconds to hours. It can be extremely intense or just a dull ache.
How we help:
-By listening to your whole story and looking at your whole body to make sure we know exactly why it is happening- what started it in the first place. If we think your ribs are involved we will treat your ribs, if we think hips are involved involved we will treat that; you get the drift! If we don’t do this then often the problem can come back again.
-By releasing, releasing, releasing! What do we release? We release things like your hips, your ribs or even your gluts – whatever we think may be contributing to the symptoms. We also usually release your pelvic floor. Yes, that’s right, your pelvic floor. Often people with pelvic pain have a ‘tighter than it should be’ pelvic floor and just like any other muscle it can be released and in most cases this is extremely helpful.
-We give exercises! Lots of them will be ‘all day exercises’ – like trying to hold yourself differently throughout the day. Some will be specifically pelvic floor related.
-We can give advice on sex. What positions may be better for you, what else can be done to help.
-Sometimes we use electrical stimulation. Sounds scary doesn’t it! It isn’t – it helps to calm the pain down and in some cases is very helpful.