Vulvodynia Vulvodynia is chronic pain of the area around the vagina, known as the vulva. It may be generalized or specific to only one area. Symptoms my include feelings of burning, stinging, icing, aching, throbbing or swelling. It may or may not be accompanied by spasm (vaginismus). Treatment depends on the source of the pain, which is typically multi-factorial.
Vaginismus Spasm and tightness of the pelvic floor muscles that limits penetration is known as vaginismus. It may make penetration extremely painful or even impossible, including sexual activity, tampon use, and gynecologic exams.
Coccydynia The coccyx, or tailbone, is a bone located at the base of the spine near the anus. It is attached to the sacrum by ligaments and should be able to move about 25 degrees forward and backwards to accommodate normal activities for example sitting, bowel movements, and childbirth. In cases of physical trauma such as falls, car accidents, or difficult childbirth the coccyx or its surrounding soft tissue may be injured. In some cases injuries may be very old, such as a childhood fall, but trauma to the tailbone remains and over time the lack of mobility culminates in pain and dysfunction.
Tailbone pain may be experienced as an inability to sit for long periods of time, pain with intercourse, or pain with bowel movements. It may also radiate up into the pelvis, sacrum, or lower back. Using manual physical therapy to mobilize the tailbone, align the pelvis and sacrum, improve tissue mobility, and improve muscle function, tailbone pain can be decreased or eliminated.
As many as 60% of women will experience pain with intercourse at some point in their lives.[i] Of these women, few actually seek treatment, believing that the topic is taboo, that they will not be believed, that nothing can be done for them, or that the pain is normal. In fact, we frequently find women in clinic who went their whole sexual history having pain with intercourse, and believing that it was normal sensation.
Some women experience pain at the entrance of the vagina, while others may experience pain with deeper penetration. Pain may be experienced just before, during, or after sexual activity.