Women's Therapy Center https://www.womentc.com Treatment For Vaginismus, Vulvodynia & Painful Sex Tue, 30 Jul 2019 20:04:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 Painful Sex – 8 Couples Explain What it’s Like When Sex is Painful for One Person https://www.womentc.com/blog/painful-sex-8-couples-explain-what-its-like-when-sex-is-painful-for-one-person/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/painful-sex-8-couples-explain-what-its-like-when-sex-is-painful-for-one-person/#respond Tue, 30 Jul 2019 20:04:33 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4789 This online article was posted July 26, 2019 on HelloGiggles.com and includes interviews of us, and contributions by former patients of ours.

Thank you, Megan, Wyatt, Marilena, Frank, Charlene and Logan for opening a window to your intimate world. We know your stories will help others. Much appreciated!

A pdf copy of the article can be found here.

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A Female Sex Condition That is Largely Unknown – and Very Treatable https://www.womentc.com/blog/a-female-sex-condition-that-is-largely-unknown-and-very-treatable/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/a-female-sex-condition-that-is-largely-unknown-and-very-treatable/#respond Tue, 11 Jun 2019 22:15:15 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4772 An article about vaginismus that was just posted by the online magazine Verily, featuring interviews with two former patients of ours.

Thank You, Marni and Carrie, for your testimonials and your openness about vaginismus – your commitment to helping others is greatly appreciated!

And Thank You, Verily, for shedding a light on this unknown yet common and treatable condition.

If you prefer, click here for a pdf of the article.

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HPV and cancer, his and hers https://www.womentc.com/blog/hpv-and-cancer-his-and-hers/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/hpv-and-cancer-his-and-hers/#respond Mon, 03 Jun 2019 20:48:44 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4764 The Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) has become the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), affecting both males and females.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some HPV facts include:

  • There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers;
  • It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex;
  • HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms;
  • Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected;
  • In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems;
  • To lower the chance of getting HPV, get vaccinated, get screened, and ALWAYS exercise safe sex (condoms);
  • About the HPV vaccine: it used to be recommended for individuals through age 26 but recent recommendations by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) raised that limit to ages 27-45 as cancer prevention.

What kind of cancer can HPV cause? In women, it may develop into cervical cancer, while in men it will develop in oropharangeal (mouth/tongue, back of throat) cancer. HPV may also develop into anal and other genital cancers.

Women have been quite knowledgeable about HPV-related cervical cancer, and most are familiar with the need for a colposcopy when such abnormal cells are suspected via a positive Pap smear. WebMD has a fine explanation.

Less known is the impact of HPV on males, despite rapidly rising prevalence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer in the United States and other Western countries, up to 70% of oral cancers! This type of male oral cancer is often associated with a greater number of sex partners, and a history of oral sex. With this new understanding, medical diagnostics and intervention have been developing to include males in HPV management and to provide timely intervention – this cancer has an 85-90% survival rate.

If the male in your life has symptoms that include hoarseness, pain or difficulty swallowing, pain while chewing, a lump in the neck, a feeling of a persistent lump in the throat, change in voice, or non-healing sores on the neck, urge them to speak with their doctor right away. Of course, such symptoms can be caused by other health issues but timely vigilance is essential.

You may surely say that HPV is none discriminatory – it can touch anyone. Consider getting vaccinated, be attentive, practice safe ses, and share the knowledge with others.

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Podcast: female sexuality, mind-over-genitals, vaginismus https://www.womentc.com/blog/podcast-female-sexuality-mind-over-genitals-vaginismus/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/podcast-female-sexuality-mind-over-genitals-vaginismus/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 20:35:37 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4757 The newest addition to our YouTube channel is a podcast interview of us from two weeks ago, discussing female sexuality, the differences between male and female sexual templates, the power of the mind over the genitals, and a bit about vaginismus (a subject we always raise awareness about).

You can listen to it here.

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Vaginismus: support for men https://www.womentc.com/blog/vaginismus-support-for-men/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/vaginismus-support-for-men/#respond Thu, 02 May 2019 20:24:07 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4742 We are excited to share that we are now offering support for men whose female partner/wife struggles with vaginismus. We do so because it is never just the woman’s journey — the partner and the relationship suffer as well!

View our new YouTube video of two husbands who met in our waiting room while their wives were undergoing treatment, and who were inspired to share their intimate and painful journey with vaginismus.

Visit our new (May 2019) group on Facebook titled, Vaginismus – A Support Group For Men, where partners/husbands can share feelings and exchange information about living with vaginismus and about treatment options.

Help us spread the word and shine a light on this common yet elusive medical condition. Thank you.

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Vaginismus, and the secret of the socks… https://www.womentc.com/blog/vaginismus-and-the-secret-of-the-socks/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/vaginismus-and-the-secret-of-the-socks/#respond Tue, 23 Apr 2019 22:19:42 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4713 An impromptu video shot in our waiting room last week. Enjoy!

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Achieving Sex Equality in the Bedroom https://www.womentc.com/blog/achieving-sex-equality-in-the-bedroom/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/achieving-sex-equality-in-the-bedroom/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2019 19:57:40 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4693 A podcast on YouTube – Achieving Sex Equality in the Bedroom – interviewing us about female sex and sexuality, and a bit about vaginismus.

Thank you, Dr. Kopelman (MedChatMonday.com), for shedding light on this sensitive topic!

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Female anatomy lets only strong sperm swimmers reach the egg https://www.womentc.com/blog/female-anatomy-lets-only-strong-sperm-swimmers-reach-the-egg/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/female-anatomy-lets-only-strong-sperm-swimmers-reach-the-egg/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 21:36:33 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4683 A recent research article that sheds light on the role of sperm’s swimming ability on conception. We thought you would want to know.

Strictures of a microchannel impose fierce competition to select for highly motile sperm.

Snippets:

  • In the race to conception, the female body is set up to separate weak sperm from strong, researchers report.
  • A woman’s reproductive system presents a veritable obstacle course that stress-tests sperm, making sure that only the strongest swimmers have a chance of reaching a woman’s egg, according to a new study.
  • Narrow gate-like passages within the female reproductive tract force competing sperm to barge their way through, ensuring that weak and less viable sperm are left behind, the researchers explained.
  • Doctors evaluating sperm look at concentration (the number of sperm), morphology (the shape of the sperm), and motility (the percentage of sperm that are swimming). To aid conception, doctors first focused on sperm concentration, counting the number of sperm in a man’s ejaculate.
  • The new study indicates that doctors have not placed enough emphasis on sperm motility.
  • Tests with sperm from men and bulls revealed that the strongest swimmers were most likely to make it through the tight spots, known as “strictures”, while weaker ones were caught in oncoming currents that propelled them backwards when they got too close.
  • This new knowledge will help couples struggling to conceive a baby, either by giving natural conception a boost or by improving the process of in vitro fertilization.
  • “In nature, when you start off in a normal setting of 60 to 100 million sperm trying to achieve fertilization with one egg, millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned a system that seems to give us the most optimal outcomes,” said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of the Center of Male Reproductive Health at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. He’s also an associate professor with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.


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The Road to Curing Vaginismus Isn’t Easy, But Living With It Is Worse https://www.womentc.com/blog/the-road-to-curing-vaginismus-isnt-easy-but-living-with-it-is-worse/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/the-road-to-curing-vaginismus-isnt-easy-but-living-with-it-is-worse/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 22:04:37 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4667 Don’t Waste Time!

The past year has been one full of change. I got married, moved to a new state, started a new job, and discovered that I had vaginismus. I waited until I married to have sex, but my inability to use tampons, undergo a gynecological exam, and do basic things with my body that most women could baffled me.

Trying to justify my issues, I started negotiating with myself. Maybe my problems were due to a lack of experience; when I finally had sex, these issues would resolve. Or maybe my past issues with endometriosis were to blame, or maybe there was another physical problem, but because I couldn’t undergo a proper gynecological exam, the doctor couldn’t see the issue. In the end, I convinced myself that all would be well on my wedding night—until it wasn’t.

After four months of trying to have sex unsuccessfully, I decided to see a gynecologist. At the appointment, I explained that I had a great deal of pain when we would attempt intercourse, so much so that I could not continue. At first, the doctor tried to reassure me that it was probably just a vaginal dryness and that more lubricant would solve the issue. She then attempted to examine me. I felt my entire body recoil in fear as she started to insert the speculum. After trying a few more things, she concluded that I had a condition known as vaginismus. She left me with virtually no information on the condition and simply gave me the name of a sex therapist who could help me.

As it turns out, the therapist doesn’t treat women who have vaginismus. Another dead end. After a lot of tears, I began doing my own research, desperate to find a solution. I quickly discovered there was no treatment available in my state or in most states for that matter. Then I stumbled upon the Women’s Therapy Center (WTC).

I found an abundance of written information about vaginismus, informative videos about the condition, testimonials from women who had been successfully treated at the center, and a support group. The more I weighed my options, the more I realized that I could try a lot of other things, but most likely I would waste months, maybe even years, only to find no cure. Many women revealed in their testimonials that they had tried countless types of therapy before coming to the WTC. Nothing had helped. I didn’t want vaginismus to continue crippling my life and despite having a loving, supportive husband, I didn’t want it to eventually destroy our marriage.

My advice to women suffering with vaginismus is this: don’t waste time trying other stuff. Come to the WTC. The doctors know what they’re doing, they’ve helped thousands of women overcome vaginismus, and you can be one of them if you truly want to be cured. They are compassionate, supportive, encouraging, push you when you need it, and never give up on you.

The road to curing vaginismus isn’t easy, but living with it is worse. So, whatever you have to do—save money, raise money, borrow money—it’s worth every cent. My husband and I have no doubt that we made the right choice coming here. Cure is possible, help is available, and the healing it brings will forever change your life.

-Elena T. (2019)

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Why Do I Always Have to Pee During Sex? https://www.womentc.com/blog/why-do-i-always-have-to-pee-during-sex/ https://www.womentc.com/blog/why-do-i-always-have-to-pee-during-sex/#respond Mon, 04 Feb 2019 23:08:41 +0000 https://www.womentc.com/?p=4659 Dear Doctors,

I’ve just recently started to become sexually active so I’m not really sure what’s “normal” and what’s not.

The handful of times I’ve had sex though, it feels like I have to PEE! Sometimes I feel the urge to urinate so badly that I get distracted and lose interest in the middle of sex. Once it ruined the experience completely and we had to stop.

Some of my friends said this is normal but it seems a little excessive… Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to prevent feeling this way or at least get past it so it’s not a distraction?

Any advice is appreciated!

Cynthia

*** Our two-part post written for MsMuslim ***

PART I

Dear Cynthia,

This is such a common concern voiced so often by women that we dedicated a chapter to it in our book, Parting the Curtains, but here goes a short – first part – explanation:

The urethra (urine tube) lies in the ceiling of the lower vagina, and is intimately involved during intercourse when the penis, during thrusting, rubs against it. To ease that friction, our urethra’s underside is cushioned by estrogenic tissue, sort of like bubble wrap between it and the vaginal canal/penis. Isn’t nature smart?

However, there are situations when the urethra gets rubbed to a disruptive degree and it will tell us that by speaking ‘urinese:’ urgency to urinate, frequent urination, burning, etc. You see, every body part speaks its own language when it tells us that something is wrong: the intestines speak differently than our joints, and headaches are felt differently than an ear infection. Again, the body sets up distinct, alert signs within its complex system.

So, when would this rubbing turn into urethral chafing? If your vagina is dry (insufficient hydration or lubrication, during/after taking antibiotics), if he stays inside you longer than your vaginal skin can take, if you are menopausal (low estrogen levels), if you are nervous upon intercourse thus tighten your vagina against the urethra (vaginismus), if you have frequent successive intercourse (a common cause of honeymoon cystitis), if his penis has certain curvature issues (Peyronie’s disease), medical issues, certain medications, and more can all have an effect on your vagina.

Lastly, intercourse should not cause urethral chafing and no, it is not normal to always have to urinate during or right after intercourse. You may want to explore why this is happening to you, and speak with your doctor as needed, in order to take corrective measures.

PART II

In Part I we explained reasons and causes for urinary urgency (urethral rubbing) associated with intercourse.  In this Part II, we’ll expand on this urethral call from a psychosomatic aspect, with the assumption that there is no underlying medical issue involved and that you emptied your bladder beforehand at your normal frequency.

Many women cater to this urge to urinate because they truly believe it is a ‘bladder call’ (full bladder) even if they urinated recently. By doing so, they permit their bladder – a trainable reservoir – to hold less and less urine and validate the need to urinate more and more frequently than normal.  Do you really want this to happen?  Can you see yourself jumping out bed in the midst of an intimate sexual moment to cater to the altered bladder?  The urethra does not contain urine; it is merely a tube that connects the bladder (where urine is held) to the opening of the genitals for voiding.  In other words, a urethral call is merely a rubbing complaint!

Not only is the bladder a trainable reservoir, it is also connected to our stress response system, which means that distress and anxiety are easily triggered.  Case in point: you feel the urge to pee, you cater to it, you do this every time you feel the urethra calling, your bladder is now shrinking in capacity, and then you begin to panic if you cannot act on it…  Or if you are in the midst of a sexual moment and have to stop it in order to run to the toilet — how to do you explain that to the partner?  Embarrassed? Will you now consider refraining from engaging sexually in fear of urinary urgency?  Will you then worry that you may lose urinary control?  The more these associations, the more panicky the bladder becomes, and – voila – you have just found yourself having a problem that disrupts your life…

Let’s pull it all together: recognize a ‘real’ need to urinate (full bladder) vs. a benign urethral call, take measures to sort out any disruptive urethral chafing, understand the trainable aspect of the bladder and the mind, and seek medical advice if you need further intervention.

We hope this helps!

The Doctors


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