“Things that go wrong down there.”
That’s the phrase women often use to refer to pelvic pain, all those horribly embarrassing problems in the vagina and vulva that cause so many women such discomfort. One in five women struggles with painful sex at some point in their lives. Yet pelvic pain impacts on more than the woman’s sex life. Vulvar problems can cripple women’s everyday lives, forcing them into desperate measures to seek relief – hours spent in cold baths or sitting on a bag of ice – and trailing from doctor to doctor in a desperate search for help. Women have been writing to Bettina for years about these problems but only now are solutions starting to emerge.
In the last year or two, vulvar clinics have started springing up all over Australia. In Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne there are now specialists working together – gynaecologists, dermatologists, nerve specialists, physiotherapists – trying to solve the mysteries causing so many women such private misery.
Chronic sexual pain is one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated of all areas of medicine. But finally there are solutions from new drugs for skin conditions or to repair nerve damage, specialised pelvic muscle exercises, and surgery to repair trapped nerves.
Read Bettina’s article on this vital health issue – The Vagina Dialogues.
For all the women struggling with vulvar, vaginal and other pelvic problems, here’s information about where you can go for help.
Watch the ABC’s 7.30 Report on pelvic pain.
Listen to Bettina on Radio National’s Life Matters program and hear talk-back callers talking about these problems.