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Sexual Dysfunction

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Sexual dysfunction and pain can interfere with your intimate relationships and quality of life. You may experience more than one of these conditions and often overlaps with many other co-morbidities and health issues. For example someone with pelvic pain might also have endometriosis and painful sex. 

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Sexual dysfunction encompasses a wide variety of conditions such as:

  • Vulvodynia (this encompasses clitorodynia and vestibulodynia)

  • Vaginismus

  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)

  • Persistent genital arousal disorder

  • Pudendal neuralgia 

  • Erectile dysfunction 

  • Premature ejaculation

Signs and symptoms

 

  • Do you experience pain in and around the vulva, vagina or pelvis during intercourse?

  • Is there pain at the entrance of the vagina or deeper into the vagina?

  • Do you find it difficult to insert a tampon or a finger?

  • Do you have discomfort or tightness in your labia or vulva region? 

  • Do you feel like your vagina is too tight?

  • Do you experience pain or a burning sensation in and around your vagina without a specific cause?

  • Are you unable to achieve an orgasm?

  • Are you unable to achieve penetrative intimacy due to pain or the feeling of a physical barrier stopping you?

  • Do you have a history of urinary tract infections or thrush?

  • Do you find it difficult to get an erection?

Contributing factors to sexual dysfunction:

  • Previous trauma 

  • Overactive pelvic floor muscles causing tension

  • Underlying bladder and bowel issues

  • Underlying conditions such as endometriosis and adenomyosis 

  • Underlying hormonal changes during breast feeding and menopause

  • Difficulty relaxing pelvic floor muscles

  • Repetitive pressure or irritation to the perineum such as riding a bike

  • Sexual trauma or assault 

  • History of painful sex 

  • Physical trauma such as childbirth or surgery 

  • Vulval skin disorders (such as lichens sclerosis)

  • Medical conditions

  • Medications that may reduce your sexual desire 

  • Hormonal factors

  • Anxiety or depression 

  • Stress and fear of pain 

  • Relationship problems 

  • Sometimes there might not be a specific cause 

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How can we help?

We can help to uncover underlying factors and triggers contributing to your pain. We can assistant to improve your sexual pain or dysfunction with some of the following:

  • Internal and external myofascial release techniques to the pelvic floor muscles

  • Spinal and whole body joint mobilisations

  • Visceral and cranial osteopathy 

  • Reduce fascial tension through the abdominal cavity and lower limbs

  • Pelvic floor stretches and strengthening 

  • Meditation, mindfulness and visualisation strategies

  • Pain management 

  • Touch desensitisation 

  • Vulvar hygiene and lubricants

  • The use of dilators, wands and/or vibrators 

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Our Osteopaths work very closely with our Exercise Physiologist who is extensively trained in pelvic health. Exercise Physiology helps to integrate your pelvic floor exercises into more functional movements to get you back living a healthier and more independent life! 

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