What’s Going on Down There?
Nope. Not Australia. In your pelvis!
This is the third blog post in the series, but to review, the bony pelvis houses a few essential functions of our bodies. The 3 Ps: Pee, poo and pleasure. Or in medical terms, bladder, bowel and sexual functioning. These can be embarrassing topics that many people do not want to talk about, but they are common issues. However, these problems are not normal, but are quite treatable! Did you know that there are physical therapists (PTs) that specialize in treating conditions related to these functions?
If you missed the first two Ps, take a look back to learn about pee and poo from the previous two blog posts.
Onto our last P: pleasure. Sexual functioning is an important part of quality of life. Sex should not be painful, in any circumstance. Not after menopause, not after having a baby, not after an abdominal, gynecological or urological surgery, and not after cancer treatment.
There are multiple reasons and scenarios that can be contributing to painful sex. The pelvic floor muscles, hormone imbalances, reduced lubrication and loss of integrity in the tissue can all contribute. While a pelvic floor PT may not be able to treat all aspects of the problem, they can be an important part of the medical team to address these issues.
In women, some common medical diagnoses that may have a symptom of painful sex are: vulvodynia, vaginismus, endometriosis, or dyspareunia (which means painful sex) among others. In men, a common medical diagnosis that means pelvic pain is prostatitis or any pain in the perineum, or testicles. Again, a pelvic floor PT can assess the pelvic floor muscles to see if the group is functioning as it should, assess any scars in the abdomen or pelvis that may be contributing, and help with nutritional and lifestyle strategies to reduce pain.
Bottom line, do not be afraid to discuss these topics and issues with your healthcare team. These are not things to just live with. Help is out there!
An easy way to search for a pelvic floor PT is through https://ptl.womenshealthapta.org/