So what is dyspareunia anyway? Well it’s a difficult to saw let alone not being easy street for those who are diagnosed with it. Dyspareunia describes several types of pain that people with a vagina may experience with vaginal penetration. Discomfort in the vulvar region or pain with intercourse, vaginal muscle spasms that prevent penetration – any of these conditions can result in a dyspareunia diagnosis from a medical provider. This is also often very hard to get the “right” diagnosis.
Women who experience any type of dyspareunia condition have often seen multiple providers. They go from one to the next often feeling not seen or heard. When they go from provider to provider they find it difficult to be accurately assess and identity the issue and receive appropriate treatment. This is evidenced by the vast majority of women who seek our care and report that they have seen more than one gynecologist or other type of specialist who was not able to help them. We are huge advocates of seeing a sexual medicine provider for these types of issues but this can be hard to find. Patients say that more often than not, they were told: “you just need to relax” or “it’s all in your head” or “I can’t care for you because you’re not allowing me to do my exam”. Women leave these appointments feeling dismissed, broken, humiliated and defeated. This is so difficult to hear as you are trying to navigate the journey in area that is also very taboo.
There are some wonderful women’s health providers and a good core have been properly trained in the field of sexual medicine and have sought specialized training. However, too many lack knowledge and experience in this area (and clearly in some cases, bedside manner as well!), and that’s where we can help. At The SHOW Center, we understand just how challenging conditions like vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, sex and cancer, sex and menopause and hypertonic pelvic floor can be. Our holistic, integrative, biopsychosocial approach combines medical and behavioral expertise that focuses on meaningful and effective evaluation, treatment, and solutions. We work collaboratively and comprehensively with our patients and aim to help them heal and achieve their optimal sexual health. We work with a team that includes pelvic floor PTS, urologists, urogynecologists, sex counselors, and sex therapists.
If you’d like to find out more, please reach out to us for a free 10-minute phone consult. You will learn that you are not alone, and that we are here to help you in this healthcare journey.