Guest Blogger: Five Tips to Relieve Sexual Pain
By Susan Bilheimer
Five Tips to Relieve Sexual Pain
Sex hurts. That’s the bottom line for millions of women. Burning, stinging, raw, stabbing and itching are just a few of the words women use to describe the agony they experience not just during sex, but at work or even when performing everyday activities. Sexual pain syndrome is a devastating condition that can wreck self-esteem, destroy relationships and ruin your quality of life.
According to the International Pelvic Pain Society, over nine million U.S. women between 18 and 50 suffer from chronic pelvic pain at some point in their lives. An estimated 90 percent of those women also experience sexual pain.
You may be surprised to learn that it’s not just problems within the vagina and vulva that are at the heart of your distress. Irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, a constant urge to urinate (interstitial cystitis), arthritis, and many more chronic pain conditions in other parts of your body can all contribute to the debilitating and depressing symptoms you experience.
There are simple, natural methods as well as medications and medical treatments that knowledgeable doctors, physical therapists, and other health care providers are increasingly integrating into their practices with great success.
Following are five tips that you can implement today that may make a difference in your level of pain (but remember, you must always see your healthcare provider to rule out acute diseases, infections or other serious conditions):
1. Use unscented laundry and personal care products. Perfumed menstrual pads, laundry detergent, fabric softener, even scented dryer sheets, can inflame the genital area. Most products have an unscented version, including store brands.
2. Realize that tight clothing and pantyhose cause irritation. Many women experience vaginal burning just from wearing fitted jeans! Pantyhose can definitely trap bacteria and tightly press on your genitals. Thigh highs or stockings with a garter belt prevent the problem and can be alluring as well.
3. Test out a low-acid diet.