Millions of women experience pain during sex. But it's an intimate problem that few women talk about, even with their closest friends. Tight pelvic muscles are a leading cause of sex pain, according to experts.
Physical therapist Amy Stein specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction, at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy in New York City. In her book, 'Heal Pelvic Pain: The Proven Stretching, Strengthening, and Nutrition Program for Relieving Pain, Incontinence,& I.B.S, and Other Symptoms Without Surgery,' Stein outlines therapies, treatments and exercises to heal some pelvic pain.
Read an excerpt of the book below.
Say goodbye to your pelvic pain.
No matter how much it hurts, no matter how long you've suffered, no matter how many different pills you've taken or treatments you've undergone, the program in this book can help alleviate your pain or disorder and start the healing.
No drugs, no surgery. Instead, this is a program of natural healing -- of exercises, massage, nutrition, and self-care therapies that will focus on the true underlying condition of your pain. Heal the condition, and your symptoms will go away—and that's just what the program in this book can help you achieve.
To start, I'll explain what pelvic floor disorder is, why doctors have trouble diagnosing it, why you may have had so much trouble treating it so far, and how you can feel better as quickly as possible.
The first thing you should know is that you are not alone. Of course, nobody likes to talk about bladder problems or painful sex or itching or burning in the genital region, so you may not hear or read much about pelvic floor disorders. But the truth is that millions of us suffer from these disorders -- women and men, athletes and couch potatoes, young and old, even children.
Mostly, it's women who suffer. As I write this, 9.2 million women have pelvic floor disorder but don't know it because it has not been properly diagnosed. And the sad fact is that if you're a woman, you have at least a 5 percent chance of suffering chronic pelvic pain.
But your pain right now is what counts. That's why you're reading this book. You may be one of the more than 30 million women who have irritable bowel syndrome or one of the 700,000 with the urinary frequency, urgency, and pain that are collectively referred to as painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis.
Maybe you suffer some form of incontinence, especially if you gave birth recently or exercise frequently.
Maybe you have some form of sexual dysfunction; 43 percent of women do. Pain during intercourse, performance problems, and declines in sexual response and enjoyment are all more common than you think. All can adversely affect your relationship with your partner. And all can be treated with the natural healing program in this book.