Vaginismus Pain Books

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    Hi all. In an excellent Blog, several books are highlighted that discuss vaginismus and pelvic pain
    “When Sex Seems Impossible. Stories of Vaginismus
    By Peter Pacik, 2010
    This is an excellent book about vaginismus. The book explores possible causes of vaginismus, the history of vaginismus, and various treatment options. It is weak in that it does not outline the most common treatments for vaginismus: dilators and physical therapy. Rather, it focuses exclusively on the use of Botox treatment, which is a last resort, but can be important for cases where dilation is unsuccessful.
    When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain
    By Andrew Goldstein, 2011
    Painful intercourse is a condition many women suffer with in embarrassment and silence. This book dispenses with myths and outlines a myriad of causes which can contribute. It may not give you all the answers, but it will give you information and vocabulary to get the help you need.
    Healing Pelvic Pain
    By Amy Stein, 2008
    If you suffer from an agonizing and emotionally stressful pelvic floor disorder, including pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, prostatitis, incontinence, or discomfort during sex, urination, or bowel movements, it’s time to alleviate your symptoms and start healing–without drugs or surgery. Natural cures, in the form of exercise, nutrition, massage, and self-care therapy, focus on the underlying cause of your pain, heal your condition, and stop your pain forever.”
    Have you read them and what are your thoughts? Are there any further books that you would suggest?

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi everyone, I want to add a recent book to the list: Sex Without Pain by Heather Jeffcoat, DPT. It’s a self treatment guide and is especially helpful if you can’t find pelvic floor physical therapy near by or can’t afford it. Hope you find it useful.


    This is an excellent recommendation Helen. In a prior Forum thread surrounding Dilating Frustration, Heather Jeffcoat has written:

    “As you are working on getting the largest size pain-free, feel very proud that you are this far and were able to get there on your own. Women often report this plateau on the largest size. You are likely just missing some more active stretching techniques for your pelvic floor muscles, which could be the key to you becoming pain-free. In my approach, I believe that simply inserting a dilator for 10 minutes at a time isn’t the best way to stretch these muscles. Think about other muscles in your body…would you stretch your neck and hold it for 10 minutes? I don’t believe your vaginal/pelvic floor muscles should be treated any differently than other muscles in your body. They will respond quicker if you approach them more like they are muscles (because they are). I’ve outlined a series of stretches you can do, in an order that gets the muscles responding quickly to the dilators, in my book (Thank you for the mention, Dr. Pacik). I’m a physical therapist and use my orthopaedic background to get women’s muscles quickly on a healing path and pushing past plateaus such as the one you have reached. Since you’ve mainly been inserting and holding, there are many other ways you can use your dilators that will likely lead to you achieving pain-free intercourse as well. I would try these out and you will likely achieve your goals.”

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