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Vagina Business

Discussing sex and relationships openly and honestly is the key to achieving greater intimacy and sexual satisfaction. As a certified sex therapist, I have seen the transformative power that therapy can have on individuals and couples looking to explore and improve their sex lives.

Painful Sex

Vulvodynia is generalised pain in the vulva or genital region. It can occur through sexual arousal or sexual stimulation, or sometimes just through any non sexual touch or contact (even with underwear). Some women experience vulva pain with no stimulation at all. It is important to have all relevant tests for injury or infection carried out. This kind of pain can be very frustrating to live with, as it seems to occur without reason. Working clinically with vulvodynia can be a slow process that involves developing a depth of trust with your therapist, usually incorporating a bio-psycho-social approach is the best course of action.

Perimenopause
Vaginismus
Vaginismus

Vaginismus is when the muscles in the vagina contract, or close tightly when there is certain stimulation.  This can make sex either very painful or impossible, it also makes everyday activities such as  using tampons or having a medical check up just as painful or impossible. 

 

The good news is that vaginismus is very treatable and does not require drugs! Many people have expressed a sense of having 'tried everything" or, alternatively have looked everywhere and found no-one has any valuable help available. It is possible to treat vaginismus in painless and gentle ways. It can be a slow process but t does work. You can feel more at home in your body, and have your body actively receive pleasure!

Menopause and Perimenopause

Perimenopause generally starts in female bodies around the age of 45, and continues on average for 10 years to approximately the age of 55. During Perimenopause your menstruation may become less predictable and you are slowly emitting lower of estrogen. This can result in hot flushes, reduction in vaginal lubrication, reduction in libido and mood disturbances. You may also experience 'brain fog' insomnia and a greater need for rest and sleep. One of the most important changes that coincides with lowered estrogen is loss of bone density. This is the time you need to be caring for your health to protect yourself for future vitality.

Menopause refers to the time of life after the completion of perimenopause. Once your periods have ceased for 12 months you are considered to be Menopausal. While many women feel set free from the regular cycles of menstruation, others struggle with libido, mood and vaginal lubrication. 

menopause
endometriosis
Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, PCOS

Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of gynecological pain in women, and has received precious little research and education amongst women health professionals in the past. Thankfully the study and treatment of endometriosis is now in the spotlight and if you suspect your period pain is not 'normal' its time to seek help. Endometriosis can effect your mental health, your career, your social relationships and also your sexual relationships. 

Adenomyosis is another cause of pain for women, and occurs when the endometrial lining grows into the muscle lining of the uterus. Common signs of adenomyosis include extremely painful periods, heavy bleeding and intermittent painful sex.

PCOS (poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is another gynecological condition which can cause pain, difficulty conceiving, missed periods, weight gain acne, and mood changes. 

Pregnancy, Birth and Assisted Reproduction

Trying for a baby, pregnancy, birth, misscariage and IVF- all of these things have a profound effect on women and their partners, and can flow into our sexual expression in our relationships.

Adjusting psychologically to being parents, as well as physically having less sleep, more responsibility and hormonal shifts all impact our sex lives. As well as this pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding can all change how you feel about your body. It is important to have effective ways to understand these changes and communicate with your partner about them.

Sex after childbirth
abortion and miscarriage
Infertility, Miscarriage and Termination

Infertility, miscarriage and the decision to terminate a pregnancy (abortion) will touch many women's lives- if not directly then indirectly (a partner, friend or family member). The fathers and partners of the person is also deeply touched by these circumstance. As an individual or relationship going through these events can be very painful, stigmatising and isolating. The decision making process, grief and financial pressure can add stress to individuals and relationships resulting in the need for added care and deeper communication. If you are going through any of these issues it is well worth your time to contact Shelley and get quality support and  information.

Resources and Recommended Reading

Here are some links to books that I usually recommend...

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