Female anatomy: the basics (external)

external female anatomy - when sex hurts there is hopeIt is my desire that this blog reach those experiencing pelvic and sexual pain who are still searching for hope and healing. An important part of that is sharing information that is useful and understandable. I have learned a lot about myself and my body throughout my journey (though I still have a lot to learn), and sometimes I forget what is not so common knowledge. Thus, I want to stop and explain a few things that you may or may not already be familiar with. Hopefully this will help you gain a better understanding of your own body and also better understand some of my of my other blog posts where I may not take the time to fully explain specific terms. Continue reading

The pain in painful sex

painful sex - when sex hurts there is hopeBefore I dive too deeply into the various lessons I have learned throughout this journey I want to take a moment to describe some of the pain I have experienced.  We all experience different types and different levels of pain throughout our life, and one individual’s level 10 may be different from another’s.* I can only describe what I have personally experienced and acknowledge that there are many others out there suffering from much worse.  It is very difficult to put into words and describe in a way that you as a reader can understand.  I believe it is not possible to truly understand unless you have experienced it first-hand. Continue reading

An introduction

When sex hurts, there is hope.

That is not a statement that would come to mind for most people, but it means so much to me.  I suffer from dyspareunia and provoked vestibulodynia.  For those of you who don’t speak in medical jargon, that means I suffer from painful sex and pain in my genitals.  At an earlier point in my journey, even the slightest touch from the soft end of a cotton swab could bring me to tears.

Stone on a beach in Santa Barbara

But there is hope.  It took me three years of going doctor to doctor, trying treatment after treatment, all the while suffering from extreme pain, before finding an accurate diagnosis.  After three more years of physical therapy, medications, more doctors and further diagnoses, I am in a much better place.  I still have pain, but the frequency and severity are drastically reduced from where I was, and I know there is more healing to come.

It has been a journey.  There have been a lot of difficulties, but I have learned so much in the process.  One thing I have learned is that I am not alone in my adversities.  Women, and even men, across the country and the world experience this very intimate suffering.  The resources available online have increased exponentially since I was first searching for a diagnosis, and I want to join the cause to reach as many people as possible so they can find help and healing sooner.  There is no need to suffer alone or to feel hopeless.  My desire is that this blog will help you know that when sex hurts there is hope!