Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dr. Oz reports on Vaginal Panic Attacks

Dr. Oz recently spoke about “vaginal panic attacks” on his television show. You can see a video of this segment at this link: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/vaginal-panic-attacks

The medical term for vaginal panic attacks is Vaginismus, which is an involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles resulting in tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. This tightness may lead to burning, stinging, pain, or the inability to tolerate penetration during intercourse. Common symptoms of vaginismus (http://www.vaginismus.com/):

  • Burning or stinging with tightness during sex

  • Difficult or impossible penetration, entry pain, uncomfortable insertion of penis

  • Unconsummated marriage

  • Ongoing sexual discomfort or pain following childbirth, yeast/urinary infections, STDs, IC, hysterectomy, cancer and surgeries, rape, menopause, or other issues.

  • Ongoing sexual pain of unknown origin, with no apparent cause

  • Difficulty inserting tampons or undergoing a pelvic/gynecological exam

  • Spasms in other body muscle groups (legs, lower back, etc.) and/or halted breathing during attempts at intercourse

  • Avoidance of sex due to pain and/or failure

Vaginismus is a highly treatable condition with high success rates. One of the techniques used is retraining the pelvic floor muscles to relax in order to decrease tightness and pain. Physical therapists trained in pelvic floor physical therapy are health care providers who can help you with pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation, control and relaxation.

At Fauquier Health Outpatient Rehabilitation, Kristen L. Pierce, PT, DPT, recently achieved her CAPP (Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy) certification from the Women’s Health Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She is trained to treat all types of pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Our outpatient center also has the same biofeedback unit that Dr. Oz demonstrates on his show, and our pelvic physical therapists are trained in its use. The biofeedback unit can be used as an adjunct in the patient’s rehabilitation program to teach muscle control and relaxation. It can also be used to help with strengthening. The use of the biofeedback unit in pelvic physical therapy is based on the individualized needs and goals of the patient. Our therapists utilize a variety of techniques as well as education to assure each patient’s needs are addressed. All pelvic floor treatments are conducted one-on –one in a private setting.If you feel you may benefit from physical therapy for vaginismus or other pelvic floor dysfunctions, please call us at 540-316-2680. Or click on the button below to ask a question to one of our therapists.