A gyno’s ad for Viagra; lessons about life with pelvic pain; overcoming treatment roadblocks; and “vagina therapy”: these are among the blog posts that some of our favorite pelvic health bloggers have posted in the past few weeks.
In this blog we offer a roundup of these and other noteworthy posts for your reading pleasure.
Here’s what happens when a Gyno writes a Viagra Ad
Dr. Gunter kicks off the post by pointing out that Pfizer recently released a new ad targeting women. The idea behind the ad: to get women to give their significant others a nudge toward the little blue pill.
With her typical acerbic wit, Dr. Gunter delivers a little advice for the Mad Men working on Pfizer’s campaign.
“…Pfizer is missing a key point in their ad,” she writes, “…the fact that many women were not having satisfying sex with their partner before he developed ED so a longer, harder erection isn’t going to fix that problem.”
Dr. Gunter goes on to dish out some spot-on advice to the company. For instance, she suggests that along with the little blue pills, they include a gift certificate to educational videos of how women actually have orgasms and/or a complimentary vibrator. And why not include labeling on the pill packaging with tips such as “Suck on the clitoris like you would a Tic Tac.” or “Don’t be intimidated by a vibrator. Think of it as a universal remote.”
And for added emphasis, she includes a video of her delivering her proposed ad. Check out the blog in its entirety here.
Lessons about Life with Pelvic Pain
In this post, “Pain in the Mom,” one of our favorite patient bloggers, writes poignantly about new lessons she has learned about life with pelvic pain.
“Living with chronic pain is often more about appeasing other people than caring for yourself,” she writes. “Most people don’t want to hear about it, so you have to hide your pain to make them comfortable, or learn to deal with their discomfort.”
Another wise lesson discusses the myriad of choices those dealing with pelvic pain are faced with each day such as “choosing between sitting at dinner with my daughter or attending an event that is important to me.” While life is full of choices for everybody, she points out, when chronic pain is involved, the choices become more difficult, and behind every decision is a risk assessment.
The blog is eloquently written, as is always the case with “Pain in the Mom”, and it’s one that will surely hit home for anyone dealing with pelvic pain. To read the full blog (and if you’re a patient, it really is a must-read), click here.
How to Overcome Common Treatment Roadblocks
In her blog post titled “Long-term Compliance: How to Overcome the Roadblocks,” our favorite pelvic health blogger from down under, Sue Croft tackles some of the impediments that arise during treatment of pelvic pain.
In the post, Sue lists a few of the roadblocks patients encounter on their path to healing including dealing with flares, fear avoidance, and how to remain compliant with treatment.
To read the entire post, click here.
The Golden Rules of Pelvic Pain
Below is a sampling from the list.
“If it causes more pain, don’t do it. (But don’t be afraid of moving).”
And because there’s no such thing as “simple” golden rules when it comes to pelvic pain, Sara provides some pretty great commentary with each of her rules.
For instance, regarding the above-mentioned rule, she writes “This doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to do that activity again, it just means that you don’t need to do it now. Make modifications and ask for help.”
Another golden rule: “Your pelvic floor is doing exactly what your abdominals, thighs and buttocks are doing.” Explains Sara: “If your abdomen is tight, your pelvic floor is tight. If your thighs are flexed, your pelvic floor is tight. If you are gripping your buttocks without knowing it, you are gripping your pelvic floor without knowing it.” Sara goes on to explain exactly how this advice can help guide patients. For instance, she says, “If you are working out at the gym, think about this when you choose what exercises to do.”
Read Sara’s list of golden rules in its entirety here.
Other recently written posts we recommend by Sara include “You’ve got a Mind Reader in your Crotch—And it’s Free!!!” and “How Stress Affects Pelvic Pain.”
In both posts she explains in her usual straightforward, super-accessible manner the vital importance of not just treating the pelvic floor itself, but of also understanding how “feelings, emotions, and the state of the nervous system” play into the equation.
New Mom: “I Need Therapy…for my Vagina”
On popsugar.com, new Mom and self-proclaimed “C-section advocate,” Katharine Stahl, dishes on the postpartum PT she received after she realized “something wasn’t right down there” and sex was painful.
“Was it fun,” she writes, “Um, hell no. But I’ll admit, it worked. Things are a lot less painful and a lot more fun down there on those rare days that sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, and temper tantrums don’t drain all the sexy out of me. Here’s to hoping that any future kinds of therapy my kids force me into are just as effective.”
To read the post in its entirety, click here.
Can PT Help Anal Cancer Recovery?
In this post, our very own Allison Palandrani, DPT, who heads up our Berkeley clinic, kicks off a three-part series for The Anal Cancer Foundation about the benefits of pelvic floor PT after treatment for anal cancer.
In this, the first post in the series, Allison explains exactly how pelvic floor PT can help with anal cancer recovery.
Writes Allison, “There is a role that PT can play in the management of [the side effects of anal cancer treatment]. While there is not much research literature yet regarding this issue, we’ve seen very good clinical evidence that indicates pelvic PT is worth the time and resources for patients.”
Allison goes on to identify the side effects that pelvic floor PT can address along with the treatment strategies.
Read the post in its entirety here.
In the second post of the series, Allison goes into detail about exactly what those being treated for anal cancer can expect from pelvic floor PT.
Read that post in its entirety here.
Neuro-Insights into Pelvic Pain
In other pelvic floor health news, researchers at USC and Loma Linda University discovered the parts of the brain that control the tightening of the pelvic floor muscles, and identified a number of other muscles throughout the body that flex in concert, according to a study published in this month’s Journal of Neuroscience.
“We knew that pelvic floor muscles contract involuntarily in healthy people to make sure they don’t accidently urinate, but we didn’t know what part of the nervous system was doing this,” coauthor Jason Kutch, an assistant professor in the Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy at the USC Ostrow School of Dentistry, said. “Now we know that there are specific brain regions controlling involuntary pelvic floor contraction.”
Kutch and his colleagues were studying chronic abdominal and pelvic floor pain when they discovered the muscular and neural correlates of pelvic floor clenching. Using EMG to measure muscle activation, the team showed tightening in diverse muscles—including the glutes and those in the toes—also results in pelvic floor flexing.
“We hope that this vein of research will help us to find the causes of chronic pelvic floor pain, which disproportionately affect women, and may even yield information that could help people struggling with incontinence,” Kutch said.
To read a summary of the article, click here.
Thanks to our fellow bloggers for another round of fantastic posts!
All our best,
The PHRC Team