Vaginismus – the unspoken sexual dysfunction.

Vaginnisums is the term used for a condition that affects a woman’s ability to engaged in any form of vaginal penetration. This includes not only intercourse, but also use of tampons, or getting routine gynecological examination. The vaginal muscle becomes spastic in an involuntary way, which makes any penetration either very painful or impossible. (From Wikipedia).
People tend to believe that with the sexual revolution, and the widely available knowledge about sexuality, this kind of dysfunction no longer exists.  This is not the case; I have come across the conditions several times in my practice just in the last year.

We do not hear about the condition, possibly because  of shame or maybe because there is no pharmacological  solution available, so there are no ads  from the  pharmaceutical companies.
However, the good news is that it is quite easily treatable. All the women that I have seen with this condition, and that have persisted with treatment, succeeded in overcoming their issue and were able to have an enjoyable sex life.
The treatment consists in learning to relax the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles, and using dilators in increasing size to learn how to get used to penetration.
You can buy the dilators with instructions from Vaginismus. It is highly advisable to use specific physical therapy that addresses this issue. In my vicinity, you can find qualified physical therapists at the University of Michigan health center. . If the issue has already created stress in the relationship and secondary emotional issues, it is important to consult a qualified sex therapist.

 

 

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Reading facial expressions – a help for those with Asperger and all of us

 

People with Asperger syndrome face many challenges as they cope with life and society. From my professional experience, the most painful area is that of interpersonal relationships. There is often a misconception that people on the autistic spectrum are not interested in other people, in friendships or relationships. From my experience, they actually crave relationship and friendship, as most of us do. Many  times people on the autistic spectrum lack the skills to attain the relationships that they want and need.

One of the reasons that social skills prove to be so challenging is that often people with Asperger do not read facial expressions well. While this skill comes naturally to most of us, people with Asperger tend to lack this innate ability. Luckily this skill can be acquired, if you are willing to invest the time and  effort.

Dr Paul  Ekman dedicated his life to research of  facial expressions in different parts of the world. He found that there are 6 basic emotions for which facial expressions are universal. The universal nature of these expressions indicate that they are most likely  hardwired in us.

Dr. Ekman built an online course dedicated to teaching people to better read facial expressions. There are a few modules to the course. personally, I recommend that those who have trouble reading expressions complete all the modules.

The online Course:

a course in reading facial expressions

 

The basic book that describes his research:

Emotions revealed/Paul Ekman

 

An entertaining TV show, that is based on his research. As entertainment it sensationalizes the content, but it is based on his actual work. TV serie:

Lie to me

 

Full disclaimer: I do not have any business relationships or affiliation  with these programs.

 

 

 

 

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