• Emily Reul, PT, DPT

Sexual Health Awareness Month

Updated: Feb 18

Hi friends! September is Sexual Health Awareness Month.

There are so many different topics we could talk about when it comes to sexual health that we won’t have time to talk about all of them in a single blog post, but we will talk about a few important ones!

First, orgasms can be great for your overall pelvic health!

But sometimes sex can hurt. If it does, reach out to your provider and see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Pain or difficulty having intercourse (especially with penetration) can be a sign that your pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly (even if you’re postpartum). With the proper treatment, you can often return to having pain-free sex!

We have an online course to help you return to sex postpartum. Check it out here. You can also find helpful tips in our new book Sex After Baby: How to Resume Intimacy with Confidence and Ease.

For today, let’s focus on looking “down there.”

Have you ever actually looked at your pelvic floor? If you haven’t don’t worry—you are not alone. Many people don’t know what’s down there and have never looked. For the purpose of time, we'll focus on female anatomy. Stay tuned for future blogs about male anatomy!

A vulva is essentially everything down there that is external (not in your body). This includes the opening to the vagina, the labia, the clitoris, your urethra, and more. You may recognize the textbook picture of a vulva, but when you look down, it doesn’t look quite the same. That’s okay! Vulvas and vaginas are like snowflakes—no two are the same.

Checking your pelvic floor can give you better awareness down there and help you learn what’s normal for you. When you know what’s “normal” you are better equipped to discuss things with your doctor when they seem different.

So how exactly do you check yourself? All you need is a mirror and some privacy!

Watch Jeanice’s video to learn about the anatomy of these structures:

  • Clitoris—the clitoris contains thousands of nerve endings that create arousal when stimulated. The clitoris is designed to make you feel good! In fact, many women need stimulation of the clitoris in order to achieve an orgasm.

  • Urethral meatus—this is where pee comes out. The pelvic floor muscles contract to close it and relax to open it and let urine pass through.

  • Vaginal introitus (vaginal entrance)—the vagina is essentially the tube that leads to the cervix and uterus (where babies grow)

  • Perineal body—this is the