May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month, when we take time to recognize those who are dealing with pelvic pain, and increase awareness as to what causes it and what can make it better.
Common causes of pelvic pain
Tens of millions of women worldwide experience pelvic pain. In the U.S., 15 percent of reproductive-age women endure pelvic pain for 6 months or more [1,2], and 25 percent of all women have reported at least one pelvic floor problem . Common causes include:
- Uterine fibroid
- Ovarian cyst
- Dysmenorrhea / menstrual cramps
- Ovulation pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Ectopic pregnancy (or other pregnancy-related conditions)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence
- (in rare situations) Tumor
Pelvic pain resources and providers
In an effort to spread awareness and education about pelvic pain, May has been designated “Pelvic Pain Awareness Month” by the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS). IPPS provides wonderful patient resources for individuals who are experiencing pelvic pain, including literature and guidance on many of the pelvic disorders listed above, pelvic pain support groups, and a Find a Healthcare Practitioner directory. Individuals experiencing pelvic pain are encouraged to work with specialists devoted to helping people with pelvic pain. These can often include medical doctors, physical therapists, and sex therapists, who have experience with treating and helping patients manage their pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain’s impact on sexual functioning
Pelvic pain is an extremely common condition that can negatively impact a woman’s daily life, mental and physical health, as well as intimate relationships. The inability to enjoy a physical connection with their partner can leave a person with deep emotional pain alongside their physical pain.
Sexual health is fundamental to enjoying life and sharing intimacy. Yet, 3 in 4 women experience pain during sex at some point in their lives, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . While the pain is temporary for many, for others, it persists.
A recent study by an International team of researchers found that half of women who experience pain during sex do not speak up about it . Many women who stated their pain as “only” mild or moderate said they kept quiet about it, even though the mild pain significantly interfered with their erotic pleasure.
The study pointed to beliefs that sex is supposed to be painful for women and primarily for the man’s pleasure as reasons why women do not voice their pain to healthcare practitioners.
Sexual health still carries a stigma that needs to be normalized by women having conversations with their healthcare practitioner. Greater discussions will upend misinformation and increase awareness of treatments and products to improve sexual health and reinforce pleasure as a right for all women to enjoy.
Vibration aids in sexual dysfunctions:
Stimulating blood flow and decreasing sexual pain
Scientifically proven, vibratory stimulation is a non-invasive solution that can make it easier for many women to address or prevent a wide range of sexual health issues. By increasing blood flow to the affected area and changing the message carried by the nerves, targeted vibration can increase sexual responsiveness and pleasure while decreasing pain. Vibration is also an important component of many types of pelvic floor therapy to restore normal sexual function.
Among the sexual dysfunctions that vibration has been found to effectively improve include:
- Orgasmic disorder
- Pain disorder
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed or inhibited ejaculation
- Pregnancy and postpartum
- Desire disorder
- General pain relief
To read more about how vibration can help a wide range of sexual issues, download this review of vibration’s benefits that includes 25+ research studies supporting vibration’s benefits. (Scroll down to “How vibration can help.”)
To deliver the optimal benefits of vibration, MysteryVibe introduces a revolutionary vibrating device that aids in multiple sexual dysfunctions for women, men
Meet The Poco – The hand-held, “bullet” device offers intense, targeted stimulation many individuals need for pain relief, pelvic floor restoration, and general help with sexual dysfunction. The Poco presents a versatile vibration solution that can be used both externally and internally for optimum benefit.
Designed to be the ideal first-time vibrator, the Poco’s small diameter is just under an inch on top and just over 1.5 inches at its base. This makes for a less intimidating solution for those new to vibrators or for those experiencing pelvic pain and tension seeking a smaller fit.
Compact at just under 6 inches in length, the Poco bends at two points to contour to a woman’s individual anatomy. Its pliable shape is inspired by our fingers and how they can curve up inside the body to hit the g-spot. The device has 8 pre-set patterns and 16 levels of vibration intensity that can be easily adjustable on the device itself or controlled with an app. You can also customize your own vibration patterns.
Pelvic pain doesn’t have to hinder sexual pleasure. Supportive vibrations can change the nerves’ message to increase blood flow and help decrease sexual pain so that you can experience greater sexual freedom and intimacy with partners.
For more on product use, view this video introduction >>
- Cleveland Clinic. Help for Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain: What Causes it and How to Deal (January 14, 2020). Online: health.clevelandclinic.org
Mathias, S. D., Kuppermann, M., Liberman, R. F., Lipschutz, R. C., & Steege, J. F. (1996). Chronic pelvic pain: Prevalence, health-related quality of life, and economic correlates. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 87, 321–327.
Cited online by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at nichd.nih.gov.
- National Institutes for Health. Roughly One Quarter of U.S. Women Affected by Pelvic Floor Disorders. Online: nih.gov
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. When Sex is Painful. Online: Acog.org
- Carter, A. et al. “Fulfilling His Needs, Not Mine.” Reasons for Not Talking About Painful Sex and Associations with Lack of Pleasure in A Nationally Representative Sample of Women in the United States,” Journal of Sexual Medicine (2019) 16:1953.
Cited online by Psychology Today at psychologytoday.com.
Psychology Today. How Many Women Suffer Sexual Pain? Way More Than Men Think. Online: PsychologyToday.com. Sept. 30, 2021