Sexual Pain and Vaginismus
Because sometimes sex hurts…
If you have experienced sexual pain ( dyspareunia ) or are having a difficult or impossible time experiencing penetration ( vaginismus ) then you know how challenging intimacy can be. Experiencing sexual pain can feel very confusing and devastating. Often, our clients say they feel broken and defective due to their sexual pain or vaginismus. Sometimes, it causes them to be unable to consummate their marriage or use tampons or menstrual cups. Or they worry about going to the gynecologist to get proper health care because they have so much anxiety about getting an exam. And others fear their relationship will end due to their condition. Oftentimes our clients have been told by medical professionals that there is nothing wrong with them. They have even been advised to just drink some wine and relax.
But, Sexual pain and vaginismus can be some of the most painful and complex sexual challenges to experience. Sexual pain plus vaginismus actually has a name: Genito Pelvic Pain/ Penetration Disorder (GPPPD). It impacts about 20% of women in the United States. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of those topics that isn’t talked about much yet. But, it makes up a large part of our caseloads. So, please know that if you’re experiencing sexual pain or vaginismus you’re not alone.
Here’s what we know. Your pain and your situation are real. Our goal is to approach your situation from a team experience. We partner with excellent sex medicine doctors like those at HerMD and top pelvic floor therapists like Elevate Physical Therapy and The Center for Pelvic Floor at Oxford Physical Therapy Centers. We want to make sure you’re getting the best care from a medical approach and also a cognitive/behavioral approach. This is what we call a biopsychosocial model.
Sexual pain can be different for everyone…
People can experience a number of different sexually painful experience such including:
- Pain with orgasm
- Pain during penetration
- Penetration feeling like sandpaper
- Pain at the touch of the vulva
- Deep vaginal pain around the cervix
- Lichen Sclerosus
- Chronic yeast infections
- Vaginal dryness
- Lack of estrogen
- Post cancer
- Postpartum – especially when breastfeeding
- Sexual abuse/trauma
- Back pain
- Weak core
- Hypertonic pelvic floor or Levator Ani Spasm
- Interstitial cystitis
- Vulvar Dermatologic Conditions
- Negative messages about sex
- Poor sex education
- Lack of foreplay or lube
- Vaginal atrophy
- Persistent genital arousal disorder
LIving with pain is hard
but it is treatable…
Many women feel embarrassed to bring up their experiences to their doctors. So, they continue to live with it in isolation.
Not only is this a challenge for the individual with vaginismus and sexual pain but it can be very hard on their partner as well. Ultimately, living with these challenges can have an incredibly negative impact on one’s quality of life.
What is clear is that there is a high fear-avoidance cycle that happens in women who have vaginismus or sexual pain. Avoidance of sex, affection, and physical and sexual intimacy become prevalent within the relationship.
Therapy that works
Here’s the thing. Though sexual pain and vaginismus can feel overwhelming, most sexual pain and penetration disorders are very treatable. Research has shown incredible results in overcoming sexual pain and vaginismus from using mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, sensate focus, EMDR, dilator therapy, pelvic floor therapy, and getting quality sex education. Sometimes, you just need to find someone who knows how to help you find relief.
Let us help you get the care you deserve to promote happy and healthy intimacy. Contact us today!
Begin Counseling for Sexual Pain and Vaginismus in Cincinnati, OH
You don’t have to live with sexual pain or vagnismus and suffer in silence. Our skilled sex therapists know how to help women of all ages and walks of life overcome their sexual challenges. To begin therapy in Cincinnati or online therapy in Ohio or Kentucky, follow these steps:
- Contact Emma Schmidt and Associates to request a free consultation.
- Meet with a sex and relationship therapist online or at our office in Cincinnati.
- Begin counseling and work towards having a great sex life.
Other Counseling Services Offered at Emma Schmidt and Associates:
The therapists at Emma Schmidt and Associates specialize in offering high-quality sex therapy. But that’s not the only counseling service they provide at their counseling clinic in Cincinnati, OH, and online. In addition to sexual pain and vaginismus, they treat many different sexual concerns including erectile dysfunction and mismatched libido. They also offer anxiety treatment, depression treatment, trauma and PTSD treatment, EMDR, sexual trauma treatment, relationship and couples therapy, and affair recovery counseling. Additionally, our therapists provide online therapy in Ohio and online therapy in Kentucky. Contact our office to learn more about the many ways our team of skilled clinicians can help you thrive.