Pelvic Pain

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What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

What is Pelvic Pain?

Complex Pelvic Pain (CPP) is pain in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis.

The pain can be linked to the pelvic floor, nearby nerves, blood vessels, joints and to the pelvic organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus or ovaries.

An Australian study of women aged 16-49 years found that 21.5% of women suffer from CPP.

We commonly treat women with a range of diagnoses, including:

  • Overactive pelvic floor
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Dyspareunia
  • Endometriosis
  • Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome

Pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction is distressing and can hugely impact life and relationships. An evidence based holistic approach to treatment is necessary to relieve pain and promote optimal bladder, bowel and sexual function.

What Causes Dyspareunia?

Interstitial Cystitis / Painful Bladder Syndrome

Interstitial Cystitis is a chronic inflammatory bladder condition that causes pain and pressure below your belly button, and frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom day and night.

Symptoms may begin for no apparent reason, sometimes following pelvic surgery, after childbirth or following a bacterial infection of the bladder.   But as the condition continues there is often no infection to be seen that could account for the symptoms.

The condition can affect women at all stages of life, from puberty through to menopause, but problems typically occur in a woman’s 40s and the risk of occurrence increases as you get older.

In cases of IC the impermeable layer of mucus that protects the surface of the bladder wall disappears and this exposes the bladder wall to the urinary solutes (mainly potassium) which causes inflammation, and irritation.  Histamine is released by the mast cells. This results in local inflammation with tissue damage and irritation of the sensory nerves located in the bladder wall.

Symptoms may flare:

  • Before or during period
  • During ovulation
  • When taking the contraceptive pill
  • With stress
  • By consuming coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, citrus, vitamin C, cranberries, tomatoes or chocolate
What Are the Symptoms?


Dyspareunia is the medical term for persistent or recurrent vaginal pain that occurs just before, during or after sexual intercourse.

Many women experience painful sexual intercourse at some point in their lives. It can affect women of all ages.

Dyspareunia pain may be superficial, felt in the area around the opening of the vagina, or it may be deep, felt within the pelvis when there is vaginal penetration and/or thrusting:

  • Superficial Dyspareunia: the pain may be burning, sharp, or cramping. Pelvic muscles tend to become tight, which increases the pain
  • Deep Dyspareunia: the pain can include burning, tearing or aching sensations.

Painful sex is distressing and can result in the loss of sexual interest, relationship problems, and affect your mood. The fear of recurring pain can make it difficult to relax, which can lead to more pain.

What Causes Dyspareunia?

There are many causes of Dyspareunia including:

  • physical issues such as a lack of lubrication, a skin infection, inflammation, illness, injury or surgery, and
  • psychological and emotional issues like partner issues, trauma, stress and anxiety.

Superficial Dyspareunia

Pain felt around the vaginal opening may be caused by:

  • insufficient lubrication
  • Vaginismus (involuntary spasms of the muscles prevent penetration)
  • injury or trauma from an accident, pelvic surgery, or procedures such as episiotomy (a cut made during childbirth to enlarge the birth canal)
  • nerve damage in the pelvis area (known as Pudendal Neuralgia)
  • hormone changes (commonly caused by a drop in oestrogen levels after menopause, after childbirth or during breast-feeding)
  • medications that inhibit desire or arousal (such as: antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, antihistamines and certain birth control pills)
  • radiation therapy, which can make the vagina less elastic and can cause scarring
  • inflammation, infection or skin disorder (such as an infection in the genital area or urinary tract, or Eczema or other skin problems in the genital area)
  • congenital abnormality, or
  • lack of arousal due to emotional and psychological factors.

Deep Dyspareunia

Deep pain within the vagina during or after sexual intercourse can be caused by:

  • illnesses or conditions including: Endometriosis, Cystitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, ovarian cysts, Adenomyosis, Uterine Prolapse, retroverted uterus, uterine fibroids, and haemorrhoids, or
  • surgery or medical treatments including hysterectomy and treatments for cancer, such as radiation and chemotherapy.

How we can help your pelvic pain

  • Assessing your posture, muscle balance, pelvic floor and associated muscles can ascertain what is contributing to your pain
  • Educating you about pain, what contributes to it and what you can do to help control it
  • Assessing your breathing and how you can use it to facilitate relaxation and release of your pelvic floor muscles
  • Pelvic floor stretching and releasing techniques
  • Educating you (and your partner if necessary) on proven methods to progressively enable pain free intercourse
  • Pain relieving modalities like Acupuncture and Magnetic stimulation to decrease pain and normalise muscle tone
  • Evidence based natural medicine approaches to reduce pain, trigger the resolution of chronic inflammation and reduce the underlying drivers of your condition
Click through the tabs below for more information on treatment options

Pelvic Health Physio

Therapy with biofeedback is a useful tool to help you avoid unnecessary increase in resting muscle tone. Also therapy that aims to reduce the tone of connective tissue and restore the mobility of muscle facia has been shown to decrease symptoms scores.

Read more about Pelvic Health PhysioCall for an appointment
A Typical Treatment Plan


PelviPower Magnetic Field Therapy (MFT) uses repetitive magnetic impulses to trigger your pelvic floor muscles and associated nerves. Research on this type of stimulus shows not only a reduction in pain but a normalisation of muscle tone.   There is also a large body of evidence that pulsed magnetic energy through tissue increases circulation and perfusion which creates a better environment for healing and resolution.

There is no need to undress for this treatment.

Read more about PelviPowerCall for an appointment
Natural medicine

Natural Medicines and Nutrition

A balanced health plan designed for your specific needs, combining nutritional advice with evidence-based natural medicine, can help you to alleviate the drivers of pelvic pain conditions.

Underlying many pelvic pain conditions like Endometriosis and Interstitial Cystitis is the driver of unresolving chronic inflammation.

We use exciting research validated natural medicine and protocols to help the body resolve inflammation and promote healing.

For example: ‘Specialised Pro-Resolving Lipid Mediators’ help transform M1 (inflammatory) macrophages into M2 (anti-inflammatory) macrophages to promote resolution and healing.

Read more about Natural Medicines and NutritionCall for an appointment

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