By Riva Preil
Thank you, Ashley Elizabeth, for singing the praises of pelvic floor physical therapy and sharing your positive experience with the world! Ashley bravely shared her personal story and victory against pelvic pain, particularly vaginal pain during intercourse, on January 6th (â€œIt Happened to Me: My Vagina Needed Physical Therapyâ€, see link below). Ashley explained why she opted for physical therapy rather than surgery. In her comical fashion, she described what she expected physical therapy to be, â€œbouncing on those fun exercise balls and maybe practicing my Kegels while eating pastries or something.â€ However, she encountered a completely different experience when she arrived at her initial evaluation with her â€œvagina magician.â€
Ashleyâ€™s pelvic floor physical therapist taught her that her pain during intercourse was most likely a result of her pelvic floor muscles as a conditioned response in addition to a remaining hymen skin tag (first detected by her gynecologist). Ashley also described how biofeedback helped her realize that she was inadvertently clenching her pelvic floor muscles as a protective response, especially when she anticipated vaginal disturbance (ex. internal manual vaginal therapy from her therapist or during intercourse). In Ashleyâ€™s own words, this new awareness allowed her to â€œwork through it until I figured out a way to connect my brain to those muscles to pep talk them into chilling out.â€ I couldnâ€™t have said it better myself. I encourage you read the rest of Ashleyâ€™s article- it is informative, entertaining, and inspirational, especially to those who can unfortunately relate to the symptoms Ashley experienced. But fortunately there is hope! We here at Beyond Basics are trained in pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and we would love to use our â€œmagicâ€ to help you.