SEXMED 5.17.24
Sullivan 2021

Vestibulodynia is defined as pain at the vestibule, which is the area around the opening of the vagina (introitus). Being diagnosed with vestibulodynia can leave patients feeling frustrated because it doesn’t explain WHY they have pain at the vestibule. There are several types of vestibulodynia including infection, inflammation, neoplastic, neurologic, trauma, and hormonal deficiencies.

The most common type of vestibulodynia is caused by hormonal deficiencies known as Hormonally-Mediated Vestibulodynia. This type is caused by hormonal changes including taking birth control, breast feeding, postpartum, estrogen blockers, and peri or post menopause.

The most common cause of Hormonally-Mediated vestibulodynia in younger women (under the age of 25) is systemic birth control (i.e. oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), depo-shot, NuvaRing). Side effects of birth control (BC) such as breakthrough bleeding, nausea, headaches, increased risk of stroke, and abdominal cramping are more commonly discussed among doctors and patients.

Continue reading
JPin Clitoral Anatomy

Tara Sullivan, PT, DPT, PRPC, WCS, IF is on faculty with Herman & Wallace. She created Sexual Medicine in Pelvic Rehab and co-created Pain Science for the Chronic Pelvic Pain Population which she instructs alongside co-creator Alyson N Lowrey, PT, DPT, OCS. Tara started in the healthcare field as a massage therapist, practicing over ten years including three years of teaching massage and anatomy and physiology. Tara has specialized exclusively in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction treating bowel, bladder, sexual dysfunctions, and pelvic pain since 2012. She is adjunct faculty speaking at the annual conference for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and teaches an elective course at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Franklin Pierce University on Pelvic Health. Tara is very passionate about creating awareness on Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and recently launched her website to continue educating the public and other healthcare professionals.

You may have heard of Jessica Pin. She’s been making headlines lately with the unconventional ways she is going about changing what medical texts and schools teach about the clitoris…..which is currently very little. According to Pin, who has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, the average textbook has over 50 pages more dedicated to the penis than compared to the clitoris. Jessica Pin started her journey to create awareness of clitoral anatomy because at 17 years old she had a labiaplasty leaving her with sensory loss. Jessica’s activism has so far changed 8 medical texts to include detailed anatomy of the clitoris in hopes knowledge of this anatomy is understood well, as it is critical prior to performing surgery near the clitoris.

Loss of clitoral function can also occur after labiaplasty, biopsies, cosmetic surgeries, and repair. As pelvic rehab providers, there is a level of responsibility we have to help shift the narrative. How often have we seen or heard similar stories of young patients undergoing cosmetic surgeries to try to ‘look normal’ or apologize for the way they look? We have such a unique position to spend time educating our patients and treating sexual dysfunctions across the spectrum.

Continue reading

All Upcoming Continuing Education Courses