Pelvic pain: Be your own advocate

Pelvic pain is not experienced the same way for every woman. But healthcare providers may still have a “one size fits all” approach for women with pelvic pain. That’s why women can become emotionally and sexually frustrated after seeing multiple doctors and experience inadequately evaluated symptoms. It’s important for healthcare professionals to ask the right questions but more importantly for patients to provide any and all information to their provider. This will help reveal more a variety of possible conditions, which may help identify the cause of pelvic pain.

Dr. Michael Krychman discusses in the podcast, Sexual Health, Pelvic Pain and Being Your Own Advocate, his experiences seeing women with vaginal dryness, pelvic pain, vulvar pain syndrome, and women who have a variety of cancer diagnoses. These all impact a woman’s pelvic health.

Dr. Krychman encourages patients to tell their healthcare provider exactly what they are experiencing, even if some symptoms seem minor. Not all symptoms have to be related to a condition. Details from sexual feelings or sexual pain to skin irritation or sensations around your vagina all count. Often times, he feels these type of health concerns are not addressed by healthcare providers and patients thoroughly or commonly.

During this podcast, the “mind-body connection” is also discussed as an important factor in pelvic pain. This is an area Dr. Krychman feels is important for the provider and patient to cover. When it comes to pelvic pain, instead of the mind monitoring the sensation and enjoyment of experiences that create pleasure, it is monitoring for and anticipating pain, discomfort, or tension. As a doctor of sexual medicine, an OB/GYN, and a clinical sexual counselor, Dr. Krychman works with patients to re-acclimate the mind to the idea that sex or penetration is pleasure – not pain. Of course, this takes practice and may include tools and techniques like vaginal dilation therapy. Dr. Krychman uses vaginal dilators for this type of treatment. Vaginal dilators (also known as vaginal trainers) involve different shapes and sizes. They are sequential and incremental with sizes too. Sequential, Dr. Krychman describes, is more like climbing steps (multiple products, different sizes) and incremental is gradually expanding ( single insertion, adjustable sizing).  

The takeaway from this podcast is to drive precision medicine, which is a type of practice where the patients’ needs are considered from symptoms to finances. This will allow patients to become their own advocates and ensure whatever treatment plan is created meets your unique needs – and is something you can follow to the end.


Information in this blog is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace medical diagnosis or advice from a health care professional. Patients are encouraged to seek a medical appointment for their evaluation of pelvic pain.