There are many possible causes of pelvic pain and the reason for your individual pain should always be discussed with your GP or physiotherapist. They may refer you onto a specialist gynaecologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, psychosexual counsellor or other specialist depending on the cause of your pain.
What is Chronic Pelvic Pain?
Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is any pain in or around the pelvis that lasts for more than 6 months, it can affect both men and women and can occur at any age. CPP can impact on every aspect daily life and can change the way an individual behaves emotionally and physically. It can be extremely isolating as the cause of the pain is rarely visible on the outside.
What Causes Pelvic Pain?
There is no simple answer to this question and a range of conditions can impact pelvic health and lead to pelvic pain, these include but are certainly not limited to:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- A fall or trip (even one which is seemingly innocuous)
- Allergies or irritation
- History of sexual abuse
- Treatment for cancer
- Postural problems
- Dermatological conditions
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
The Pelvic Floor is made up of the muscles, ligaments, nerves and tissue that sits at the base of the pelvis. It attaches to the pubic bone at the front all the way through to the tailbone at the back. It is often described as acting like a sheath or sling to support the pelvic organs – the bladder, bowels and reproductive organs but also assists in bladder, bowel, sexual function as well as trunk stability and mobility. Too often we think only of the pelvic floor being weak however the pelvic floor is extremely complex and the muscles need to work together, like a well trained orchestra, relaxing and contracting at different times.
A common cause of pelvic pain is a result of the muscles and nerves within your pelvis not working optimally, frequently muscles will spasm when pain is experienced or even anticipated feeding into a further cycle of pain. Frustratingly changes in the way the nerves carry messages can often result in the pain remaining a long time after the initial cause has been identified or even treated. Pelvic pain or chronic pelvic pain which has a musculoskeletal origin is most commonly treated by a specialist pelvic physiotherapist (sometime referred to as a women’s health physiotherapist or men’s health physiotherapist).
The pelvic floor supports the pelvic organs, assists in bladder, bowel and sexual function and provides trunk stability and mobility.
Treating Pelvic Pain
Unfortunately we don’t have all the answers. However, here at Pelvic Relief we have sourced the best products possible to compliment your treatment plan. All these products are recommended by healthcare professionals and we hope they will help you achieve your goals.
If you have been recommended graded dilation therapy our SoulSource dilators are made from the highest quality silicone rubber which is smooth, soft and naturally flexible to conform gently to your bodies needs. They come in a wide range of sizes and can be purchased individually or in sets.
If your Physiotherapist has recommended internal massage EZMagic is the first choice recommended by treating healthcare professionals. Made from medical grade glass it can be heated or cooled and is perfectly shaped to access different areas of the pelvic floor.
If meditation or yoga is part of your treatment plan the Buttafly is a yoga block designed by a Physiotherapist to address the challenge of sitting comfortably on the floor.
Vaginal dryness may be a primary symptom of your condition (for example as a result of Menopause or Endocrine Therapy) or may be a result of the anticipation that intercourse will be painful. We always recommend YES Organic Moisturisers and Lubricants, formulated to be free from hormones, parabens and known skin irritants.
We have some wonderful self treatment guides including Heal Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein and Heather Jeffcoat’s book, Sex Without Pain: A Self Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve to help women who experience painful intercourse.