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.
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!
Pregnancy, Birth and Sex
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.