Female Sexual & Pelvic Pain FAQs

Some common questions about pelvic pain…

What is vulvodynia?
What is vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS)?
What is vaginismus?
Why is therapy treatment important?
Can any woman with sexual pain join this group?
I think my partner experiences sexual pain. What can I do to help?
What can I expect from the group sessions?
My experience is something that I have difficulty opening up about. What if I am shy, nervous, reserved, etc. especially about sexual topics?

What is vulvodynia? Simply put, it is chronic pain in the vulvar area that typically has an unidentified cause.
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What is vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS)? It is vulvodynia that is specified to the vestibular region.  Also referred to as vestibulodynia.
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What is dyspareunia?  It is painful intercourse that has either (or both) medical or psychological causes.
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What is vaginismus? It is an involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina, closing the vagina.  This makes insertion into the vagina painful, difficult or impossible.  It can be caused by a number of reasons.  It is possible that a woman has never had been able to have sex due to vaginismus (primary vaginismus), or that she has developed this later in life, having had pleasurable intercourse before (secondary vaginismus).
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Why is therapy treatment important? For many women, pelvic pain is something they have been struggling with for years without hope or support.  Many women feel anxious, depressed, or hopeless even after medical treatment has begun.  This group will provide information, support, and skills that continue to heal the affects of pelvic pain.  Medical treatment coupled with mental health support is effective in the treatment of pelvic pain related issues.
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Can any woman with sexual pain join this group?

  Yes.  Many women have been given a different diagnosis for the same condition.  Women suffering from other types of sexual or pelvic pain can benefit from these groups as well.
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I think my partner experiences sexual pain. What can I do to help?

 First and foremost, be emotionally supportive and understanding – what she is going through is a difficult experience physically and mentally.  She would probably benefit from the support, education, and treatment of this group.  Suggest this group to her.  We even have a session that is dedicated to working with current and future partners on opening up discussion around the struggles and emotions experienced with this condition.
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What can I expect from the group sessions?  These groups will be a safe place to discuss your difficulties and struggles with other women who have had similar experiences as you.  You will learn that you are not alone and that your pain is something real.
The format of the Treatment Group is a combination of education, discussion of your own experience, at home tasks (homework), journal writing, relaxation techniques, and meditation exercises.  We will explore struggles and new ways of understanding and coping with your pain in a fun and informative way.
The format for the Support and Process Group is facilitated by myself but predominately for the women of the group to utilize the time in the group to share their struggles, ask for support, and give comfort to the other women. Additionally, my mission for this group is a place for women to gain or enhance empowerment and find their sexual goddess (for the first time or, again).
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My experience is something that I have difficulty opening up about. What if I am shy, nervous, reserved, etc. especially about sexual topics?  It’s completely understandable that topics such as these might be hard to talk about, but hopefully you will find a place that you can discuss you matters in a safe, caring, and supportive atmosphere.  These groups are based on a sex-positive and empathic belief that you should be enjoying your life to the fullest.  The sex-positive approach taken is a way to reduce shame or reservations about sexuality.  We will discuss aspects of sexuality in a respectful but candid and fun manner.
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