Sexuality is an essential and important component of the human biological lifecycle. An individual’s sexuality emerges early in life starting with the first sexual experience or sexual relationship. As life goes on, sexuality evolves and it continues to evolve past the reproductive years. When this cycle has been interrupted, one’s identity, health, and well-being are affected and sexual dysfunction occurs when one is not able to engage in a sexual relationship as he or she desires.
Furthermore, all people deserve to feel safe in the expression of their sexuality, have access to knowledge to dispel myths, and live free from sexual degradation and violence. And finally, all women deserve access to evidenced-based and FDA approved treatments for sexual health because there are 26 FDA approved treatments for male sexual dysfunction, but there are only 2 FDA approved treatments for women.
Finding an expert in pelvic/vulvar pain or sexual medicine can be frustrating, especially if you have already sought treatment. You may feel hopeless, especially if your practitioner dismissed your complaints or did not offer you the appropriate treatments. That does not mean your trusted practitioner is not qualified because this area of medicine requires specialized training.
Also, treating sexual health issues often requires a multidisciplinary approach. A referral to a pelvic floor physical therapist (PT) may be helpful if you have tight pelvic muscles or pelvic floor dysfunction. A pelvic floor PT has specialized training and they can offer unique treatments such as myofascial release, visceral manipulation, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and dry needling. A referral to a certified sex therapist may be another important part of the treatment plan. The thought of sex therapy may cause one to feel anxious or uncomfortable, but sex therapists are trained to work through sexual issues in a supportive and educational environment. They can also help the patient and her partner explore the psychological side of sexual pain.