| Tara Langdale
Sexual problems are incredibly common, and they happen for a myriad reasons. Whatever the reason, there is one thing most people experiencing can probably agree on: talking about sexual problems is difficult! When we are facing physical challenges that cause sexual dysfunction, discussing it with a partner or Doctor can often feel excruciating.
Throughout most of the cultures in the world, we have been taught not to discuss sex openly. It therefore stands to reason that discussing difficulties we are having poses even more of a challenge! We may feel that we are failing our partners in some way; there could be feelings of inadequacy, or perhaps we are embarrassed to expose our bodies to a Doctor… whatever is the case, the emotions that correspond to our sexual problems can be overwhelming.
Communication over sexual problems is key
However uncomfortable it is to bring up our issues with a partner or professional, it is often necessary. For instance, women who suffer from conditions such as vaginismus, or painful intercourse (dyspareunia), might find themselves suffering in silence so as not to make their partner feel uncomfortable. Yet all this does is lead to both pain and anxiety.
It is normal to want to have a healthy and satisfying sex life, but this should not apply to one partner only. It could be that your partner is either unaware of the problem, or isaware of it but is unsure how to handle it. If you don’t bring it up, the chances are he won’t, as he may not know what to suggest.
Heartfelt discussions lead to deeper intimacy
Remember that your partner loves you, and he is likely to want you to be happy. Being able to discuss uncomfortable topics – and in particular sexual problems – may feel uncomfortable but it can actually bring you closer together. Supporting each other through such challenges makes you feel like a team.
Research what you can about your condition so that you’re armed with information to help your partner understand. Explain how it makes you feel, and that you desire a resolution for the good of your relationship too. Imagine if your partner was dealing with impotence?
You wouldn’t turn your back on him, would you? You would probably want to help him overcome the problem and do whatever you could to support him. He probably feels the same way.
Some sexual problems just won’t go away without treatment
It could be that you need some form of pelvic floor physical therapy. For example, women going through the menopause might experience vaginal atrophy, and physical treatment of some form is the only solution. It may be absolutely necessary to discuss your problem with a practitioner, however difficult.
If you don’t know what is causing your problem, you run the risk of it worsening over time. Anxiety is also a passion killer, as you are probably well aware. Whichever way you look at it, braving a conversation is often the first step to a solution.
Remember that Doctors have seen it all before
It helps to remember that Doctors and physical therapists have seen it all before. They chose the job they did because they want to help people to overcome their physical problems, and that includes sexual problems. To your Doctor or practitioner, a physical problem is a physical problem, and a body part is a body part.
Doctors are used to talking about embarrassing problems; conversely, we are used to viewing certain parts of our body as private or intimate and so dread exposing them to a stranger. That’s understandable!
However, your Doctor will need to determine the underlying cause of your problem, whether it is mental or physical. This might be your only route to the right type of therapist, if you need a referral.
Your Doctor should put you at ease
It’s fine to be direct and straight-to-the-point. You might simply say, “I’m struggling with painful intercourse”, or, “I am no longer feeling the same feelings I used to, and I think it is a problem.” Your Doctor is very likely to put you at ease, and they will likely understand and respect your sensitivity.
If you really can’t face discussing it with a professional, perhaps you could ask your partner to have the conversation on your behalf. If you find that your Doctor is unhelpful or apathetic, it is better to ask to see a different Doctor.
The bottom line is that there are lots of solutions available for vaginismus and similar conditions. It is just a case of researching, discussing and taking action. The solution is out there, and VuvaGirl is here to help too. Feel free to get in touch if you need any product advice!