Pelvic Pain

It hurts “down there…”

Well, let me be the one to tell you that you are not alone.

Pelvic Pain is pretty darn common. One survey study of over 700 women in the USA  attending GP or Gynaecology clinics, found that 46% of those women had pain with intercourse (dyspareunia) and 39% of women had pelvic pain. According to the World Health Organisation, chronic pelvic pain is “the single most common indication for referral to women’s health services accounting for 20% of all outpatient appointments in secondary care”

Those numbers blow my mind. So 20% of women have some kind of pelvic pain!?

What do we even mean by pelvic pain?

When we talk about pelvic pain, we are usually talking about pain in the lower abdomen, vagina, vulva or perineum.

Pelvic pain can include things like

  • dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • endometriosis
  • painful sex
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • pelvic floor dysfunction (overactive muscles)
  • and so much more….

I did an interview with Amy Stein, a physical therapist from New York City, who has written a fabulous book called “Heal Pelvic Pain”

Pelvic Pain

Image courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We talked about

  • what pelvic pain might feel like
  • why seeing a doctor to check for any underlying conditions is so important
  • how treatment with a physical therapist can be so effective
  • why relaxation is so important in people with pelvic pain
  • tips for preparing for birth in those who have an overactive pelvic floor
  • what a physiatrist is…. (it is not a made-up word!)
  • how “Heal Pelvic Pain” involves a combined approach of strengthening exercises, relaxation, stretching, nutrition and massage to help clients manage their pain
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