PELVIC PAIN

Let's Talk About It...

What is your vagina supposed to look like?

I know, I said it. Out loud and everyone is uncomfortable. But let me tell you something. If you do not know what “normal” or “supposed to look like is, then how will you ever know if something is wrong or not? I mean, come on!

There are some things to consider when using the word “normal” though. First and foremost, please understand that everyone is different. All vaginas are different. All labias are different. All clitoris’s are different.

What I mean when I say “normal” is, are you seeing what you have always seen or are you seeing something out of place?

Your vagina is adaptable. You will go through changes and notice differences when you become pregnant and postpartum, menopause, etc. but you should still be in tune with what your “normal” is so that you know when seeing someone is necessary.

I have attached a video talking about just general anatomy of the vagina, but please note there are many more layers. I will be presenting this the best I can for future purposes, so keep checking my youtube channel!

Okay, so we are ready to look. I recommend either a deep squat with a mirror on the floor, or sitting with a handheld between your legs or a mirror on the floor in front of you.

What are we looking for?

After watching the video below, you want to consider these things for YOUR vagina:

  1. Color of tissue. You should have a nice pink, healthy color to your vagina, especially inside the labia "lips)

  2. Labia. Pay attention to how your tissue typically lays. Do you have the labia minora that is going further than the labia majora (this is not a negative thing), is the labia hanging down? Get to know your labia!

  3. What happens when you kegel. When you properly perform a pelvic floor contraction, do you notice a nice, healthy close and lift? If not, why?

  4. What happens when you cough. Is there tissue coming out? Is there discharge coming out with coughing? Do you close and lift with your cough?

  5. Where is your clit? I know, you’re laughing. That’s okay! But if you know where it is, you are more likely to be able to get the sensations you truly want and be able to communicate with your partner.

  6. How wide is your hole? This is important because when you become pregnant and when you give birth, this can change, but you need to be able to understand what is your normal.

Hopefully you are viewing what you need to be viewing! If you are still curious and need some help, reach out and let me know!

But with that being the normal stuff you should know about, what are some things to be concerned about?

  1. Tissue color being red, purple, or any color not pink. If there is blood or any tissue color that may be abnormal, please note you should get that checked. This includes warts, spots, moles that are abnormal, new “pimples” or spots as well.

  2. Tissue coming to the outside of your vagina. This can be an indicator of prolapse or something going on that needs to be treated.

If you notice that your anatomy does not look like that of the pictures or my video DON”T FREAK OUT! It may be totally normal. Please understand that you could have a perfectly normal vagina, just different anatomy.

I often find myself bringing out a mirror to show my patients what they should be looking for. Please let me know if you need this! I can find someone in your area to help you.

In the mean time….happy vagina searching!!

Ask Me About....

Ask Me About…

The time I was walking the “walk of shame” down a cold, dark alley.
With fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and pain.

The smells are still so intense … and sickening. The vision of the trees, the street so clear...

Falling into the street, crying. Wondering what just happened.

The time I had to gather myself and move on. Forget this happened and accept the fact that this was “my fault.”

Accept the fact that the man who raped me won. Accept the fact that I was damaged goods...forever.

The time I realized I had pelvic floor dysfunction from this. The sickening, deafening embarrassment, shame, guilt, and fear.
Constant covering up the leakage of urine or the “faking it” during sex, it was terrible, ripping pain. I thought this defined me.

The time I drowned this memory with alcohol. Experimentation. Attempts of “ending it all…”
With the small voice in my head stating, “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault.” But drowning it out again.

The realization I had when the addictive personalities hit BIG and looking in the mirror was someone I’ve never known before and did not want to know.

Now, ask me about…

The time I packed up everything, followed my dreams, moved out of state, and overcame it all.
With the glimmer of hope I could become someone….just anyone that wasn’t who I was.

Learning who I was, I’ve never done that before. My morals, my values, my capabilities.

The time I took charge of my health and became proactive in eliminating my symptoms.

Took charge of my mental well being, my emotions, and my ability to love others.
Became aware of the habits I had formulated that weren’t serving me.

The time I became obsessed with healing, empowering, and advocating for women around the world who have suffered.
Who have been silent sufferers and masked every single feeling and emotion they’ve ever had while they consistently felt it was their fault, they are undeserving, or they are not enough.

So, please.

Ask me about my vagina.


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Sleeping Naked

I know, am I really going there?? Yes, I am. I want to break through any of the boundaries we have about our bodies and any false belief we have about “down there.”

Did you know there are many health benefits to sleeping naked? Now, for me this used to be something that would make me so nervous. What if I had discharge? What if I had leakage? What if something happened that my partner would think was gross??

But then I started to try it. I got over my fears and started to strip down each night. I started to wake up feeling much more rested, more in tune with my body, and I felt like I had a healthier vagina. So, I started to dig into why I might be feeling like that or why I’m feeling better. Here is what I found.

When you sleep naked, your natural thermostat in your body is not affected by clothing. Your skin and your body are actually at the temperature it is meant to be. When we wear underwear or clothes to bed, we are restricting this natural thermostat and causing a more enclosed, heated temperature. Especially near the vagina.

When you do not wear underwear to bed, you allow the vagina to “air out.” This just means there are no trapped bacteria or harmful chemicals that cannot be released during sleep. This can help to decrease vaginal infections!!!

You can actually wake up with more confidence. This is mostly due to getting a better nights rest from not having the normal restrictions you have from clothing, but who doesn’t want to wake up more confident??? Sleeping naked can also increased intimacy with your partner. I often tell my patients who feel as if their relationships are lacking intimacy or sex, to try sleeping naked. Almost always wakes them up with a surprise!!!

For me, the fact that I wake up more rested, I have more intimacy with my partner, and I feel as if I truly am sleeping enough is plenty of reason for me!

Give it a shot! Try taking it off and sleeping!!!!!

Importance of Having a VILLAGE for Care

Are you ever in a situation where you feel….alone? Or lonely? How about after you had your first baby? Did you feel as if you were….without?

This blog post is going out to ALL women in the prenatal period, during pregnancy, and the postpartum period. You need a village for your care. You NEED more than one healthcare professional. You cannot expect one healthcare professional to have all of your needs. It just isn’t possible.

In my scope of practice, physical therapy, I am an expert in the following (this is not an all inclusive list):

  • Muscles.

  • Anatomy and biomechanics.

  • Joint mobility.

  • Movement pattern.

  • Functional movements (things you do often).

  • Walking.

  • Posture.

  • Nervous system including: nerve mobility, nerve symtpoms.

  • Neuromuscular dysfunction/impairments (Multiple sclerosis, etc.)

  • Cardiovascular system for progression of exercise.

  • Musculoskeletal function and dsyfunction.

  • Manual therapy including: massage, tissue release, scar tissue.

  • Internal vaginal or rectal assessment.

  • Diaphragm and core assessment, diagnosis, treatment.

  • Exercise prescription.

Now, it may seem that I do it all, but honestly, I don’t. I would never admit that I do. There are many things I see in my office every single day that I refer out for. I often find myself referring to counseling, chiropractic care, surgeons, gynecologists, etc. I love to make connections with other healthcare professionals whom I know have the same goal in mind as I do of:

Giving the woman the care she deserves throughout her journey.

If I find that professional, I will refer out. If there is something I am unable to treat or need help treating, I refer out.

I am that clinician who will sit across from you and state, “I unfortunately do not have the tools to be able to help with this issue, but I know who can.”

I’m not afraid of that. Please on your journey to find healthcare providers find the ones willing to work with you and a team. If they say you only need them….you may be in the wrong place…

Peezing

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Now, that is one strange word isn’t it?! I use this word often but it may not be something that is commonly understood.

Peezing is when you sneeze and you pee, or leak urine. The reason this happens is because of the inability to properly distribute the pressure in your deep core system when you sneeze, with impaired signaling of the muscles in the pelvic floor which releases the urine without the bladder being full. Therefore, you leak urine.

Now, this may happen sometimes, this may happen all the time. Regardless, it is NEVER NORMAL. Please understand that there is help out there. You do not have to go about your life and leak urine forever every time your sneeze. It does not matter your age, it does not matter how many children you have had, what your birth experience was…it still is not normal. It can be taken care of.

When I have a patient who comes in Peezing, we first assess the ability to breathe properly. Then we assess the core and get a good idea of how your muscles are functioning and whether you are able to use your deep core well. Then we check how your pelvic floor not only functions strength wise, but more importantly relaxation wise. I find in the majority of my patients, the relaxation portion is the harder part.

You’ve heard me say it before, that I am not the biggest fan of kegels. Yes, they have their place, but they are not the only way. I find that with my patients Peezing, they more likely have tightness throughout their pelvic floor and inability to relax.

Some things you can do now to stop the peezing:
Pelvic floor muscle contraction as soon as you feel the sneeze come on.
Drink more water.
Work on diaphragmatic breathing.
Make sure you are focusing on some flexibility, relaxation throughout the pelvic floor.

But the biggest one….see a pelvic PT!