Physical Therapy for Women’s Pelvic and Sexual Health
The female pelvis is a wonderfully unique and complex anatomical structure, varying in many ways from the male pelvis. At SOPTRI, we are pleased to have Sylvie on our team, a dedicated Women’s Health Physical Therapist who has a specialized knowledge of the female pelvis and the associated health conditions and experiences that affect women.
A significant area of female pelvic health is treating conditions related to sexual health and vaginal pain, including painful sexual intercourse, or pain when inserting a tampon or menstrual cup. In many cases, the origin of the pelvic or vaginal pain is unknown, and it can occur at any age. However, often it is triggered by a specific event or condition such as giving birth, hormonal changes, UTIs, STIs, sexual trauma, physical trauma or injury, surgery, depression or anxiety.
Women of any age can experience vaginal pain, it can occur when attempting or during penetration, but also when sitting, standing or walking. It can also be coupled with pain in other areas of the body, such as the lower back or hips. Like many musculoskeletal conditions, pelvic and vaginal pain often stems from tight, overactive, under active, spasming or dysfunctional muscles. For pelvic and vaginal pain treating and retraining the pelvic floor muscles are key for providing pain relief and improving sexual health.
There are several diagnosed gynecological conditions relating to pelvic or vaginal pain, such as vulvodynia, vaginismus, dyspareunia, or pudendal neuralgia, for which physical therapy is a proven and effective method of treating these conditions. Physical therapy has also been shown to be effective in managing the pain and symptoms of chronic conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Our sexual health has huge implications for our overall wellbeing –– as well as the physiological experience of pain, it often intersects with emotional and psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, shame or trauma. The importance of working with a Women’s Health specialist is being in the hands of not just an experienced physical therapist, but somebody who is respectful, compassionate and who understands how psychologically, as well as physically, intimate treating pelvic and sexual health is.
Sylvie combines her expertise in Women’s Health with her experience as a Yoga Therapist, working to holistically understand and treat her patients in a welcoming, knowledgable and judgement-free space. Not only does Sylvie provide her patients with a comprehensive physical evaluation, treatment and exercises, but also breathing exercises which help with managing the nervous system’s response to stress and pain. Reclaiming all aspects of our health, particularly our sexual health, helps us to live happier, more fulfilling lives.