I have bad news, mamas.
1 in 3 women experience pain during intercourse at some point in their life.
Women are more likely to complain about sexual dysfunction before menopause.
And the number 1 libido killer? Kids.
That means we’re smack dab in the middle of prime sex-might-actually-suck-for-you time.
But I also have good news.
Something can actually be done about it.
I was invited to attend Let’s Talk About Sex at Virginia Women’s Center at St. Francis and as weird as it might sound, spending an evening with a bunch of people who know more about your vagina than you do and about 30 some strangers was actually a really good time. Before I get into what we talked about, here’s a little bit about who was there:
Virginia Women’s Center brought in four different experts on various aspects of women’s health for an open and mature conversation about sex, sexual health, and sexual dysfunction.
Keith P. Berkle, M.D.
Dr. Berkle diagnoses and treats disorders of the vulva including vulvar pain syndromes and has a special interest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as laparoscopic hysterectomies, myomectomies and single incision laparoscopic gynecologic surgeries.
Tovia M. Smith, M.D.
Dr. Smith is a urogynecologist and uses non-surgical as well as advanced technologies such as the daVinci Surgical system to reconstruct the pelvic floor for women who suffer prolapse, urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence.
Cora Huitt, PT, DPT, BCB-PMD
Practicing physical therapy for 41 years, Cora Huitt is a certified women’s health specialist and specializes in treating women with pelvic floor dysfunction
Sara Bolden, DPT, WCS
Dr. Bolden is a licensed physical therapist and board certified women’s health specialist specializing in pelvic pain, urogynecologic disorders and pelvic floor dysfunction. Dr. Bolden is also the author of What A Girl Wants: The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
So what did they talk about?
Here’s a brief overview.
The vagina… it’s complicated.
Well, not just the vagina, the pelvic floor itself has a lot of layers, so there’s a lot that could be troubling you. If you’re experiencing discomfort, head to a doctor you can trust or someone who specializes in your particular concern. When you’re there, be prepared for a loooot of questions, and don’t be shy about answering them (they really have heard it all). Sometimes it’s a simple fix, sometimes it’s a lot more than that, sometimes it’s physical, sometimes there’s a psychological factor as well. The more honestly you share, the more you’ll get out of your appointment.
Hang on, you missed a spot.
There is, perhaps, a g-spot, but as it turns out there’s also a u-spot and an a-spot. (And now I know where they are, don’t I feel special.) Don’t worry, the directions are written down for you. Yes, further proof that though we took sex ed in high school, and even had kids of our own, but there’s a lot you might not know about your own body.
Coconut oil is a great lube and lube well, isn’t a great lube.
Popular lubricants, soaps, feminine products and other things can be drying and cause irritation. If you’re experiencing discomfort, the answer may be as simple as a product switch or dropping a bad habit or two. A couple of easy switches: Choose coconut oil or olive oil for lubricant over potentially drying store bought lubricants and when shopping for feminine products, consider switching to a more natural fiber (cotton) rather than the synthetic or scented types.
There are 26 drugs marketed for the treatment of male sexual dysfunctions.
For women? 0.
There is no FDA approved drug for the most common type of sexual dysfunction for women (hypoactive sexual desire disorder). That doesn’t mean doctors can’t help you, they can, there are therapies that can be used to treat HSDD. There are drugs out there, but they have yet to be approved by the FDA. For more information visit EventheScore.org.
You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Sexual dysfunction can affect more than just your sex life. It can affect your confidence and your relationship. It is suspected that many women’s health problems are underreported due to embarrassment, but nearly half of all women suffer from sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives such as pain during intercourse, trouble reaching orgasm or decreased desire. And, it’s not just sexual health that may concern you, 50% of postpartum women experience urinary incontinence, and while something can done about it but only 60% of women seek help.
If it bothers you, it’s worth seeing a professional.
Let’s Talk About Sex was hosted by
and Women’s Health Physical Therapy
at St. Francis Medical Center.
This article was sponsored by Virginia Women’s Center and Women’s Health Physical Therapy.