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Woman with Pelvic Pain

Vaginismus, Dyspareunia & Pelvic Pain Disorders

Woman with Pelvic Pain

Comprehensive Care for Pelvic Pain

At Bethesda Therapy, we recognize the complexities and sensitivities surrounding conditions like vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders. These conditions, often under-discussed and under-treated, can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, intimate relationships, and overall well-being.

Understanding Vaginismus, Dyspareunia, & Pelvic Pain


Vaginismus is characterized by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina, causing discomfort, burning pain, and difficulty with intercourse, medical examinations, and even tampon insertion. This condition can stem from various factors, including psychological, emotional, or physical issues. It often leads to feelings of frustration and isolation, impacting both personal and intimate aspects of life. Bethesda Therapy provides a supportive environment where these challenges can be understood and addressed, promoting a path toward relief and recovery.

Woman Feeling Sad


Dyspareunia refers to painful intercourse, experienced either at the entry of the vagina or deeper in the pelvis. The pain can be sharp, throbbing, aching or burning, affecting both women and men. Causes range from physical conditions to psychological factors. This pain can significantly hinder intimacy and quality of life, creating a barrier in personal relationships. Our therapists at Bethesda Therapy are skilled in helping individuals and couples navigate and overcome these difficulties.

Pelvic Pain Disorders

Pelvic pain disorders encompass a range of conditions causing chronic pain in the pelvic region. This pain can be associated with sexual activity, menstrual cycles, or even be present without a specific trigger. It can manifest in various forms, from a constant dull ache to intermittent severe pain, often varying over time and complicating daily activities and personal relationships. At Bethesda Therapy, we approach these disorders with a comprehensive understanding, offering strategies for pain management and improving overall well-being.

Our Approach to Treatment

At Bethesda Therapy, we offer a compassionate, understanding, and holistic approach to treating these conditions. Our treatment plans are tailored to each individual, acknowledging the unique nature of these disorders.

Individualized Therapy

Our team of experienced therapists provides individualized therapy sessions, focusing on understanding the root causes of your condition, whether they are physical, emotional, or psychological.

Couples Therapy

We also offer couples therapy, recognizing that these conditions can affect relationships. Our therapists work with couples to foster communication, understanding, and support.

Multidisciplinary Collaboration

We collaborate with healthcare providers, including gynecologists, urologists, and pelvic physical therapists, to ensure a comprehensive treatment plan. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to address both the physical and psychological aspects of vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders. By working in tandem with medical professionals, we can provide a more holistic and effective treatment strategy, tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Patient and Her Doctor Talking About Pelvic Pain

Creating a Safe Space

Our therapists are trained in creating a safe, non-judgmental space for you to explore and address the challenges associated with vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders. We understand the sensitivity of these conditions and are committed to providing the highest level of care.

Start Your Journey Towards Healing

If you or your partner are experiencing symptoms of vaginismus, dyspareunia, or pelvic pain disorders, Bethesda Therapy is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey towards healing and improved quality of life. At Bethesda Therapy, we understand that taking the first step can be daunting, but our compassionate team is here to support you every step of the way. Our goal is to provide a safe, understanding, and confidential environment where you can openly discuss and address your concerns.

Embarking on this therapeutic journey signifies a commitment to self-care and personal growth. We believe that with the right support and guidance, you can reclaim control over your body and emotions, leading to a more fulfilling and comfortable life. Our therapy sessions are designed to empower you with the tools and strategies needed to manage and overcome the challenges associated with these conditions. Let us be your partner in navigating this path to healing and wellbeing.


Vaginismus, Dyspareunia, & Pelvic Pain FAQs

Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. Dyspareunia is the term for painful intercourse, which can occur for various reasons, both psychological and physical. Pelvic Pain Disorders are a broad category that includes any persistent pain in the pelvic region, which might or might not be related to sexual activity.

Understanding these conditions is the first step towards effective treatment. At Bethesda Therapy, we approach these conditions with a compassionate understanding, recognizing the unique challenges they present. Our therapists are skilled in addressing the physical and emotional aspects, providing a holistic treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs.

Therapy plays a crucial role in treating conditions like vaginismus and dyspareunia, which sometimes have psychological components. At Bethesda Therapy, we provide a safe and confidential space to explore the underlying causes of these conditions, such as anxiety, past trauma, or relationship issues.

Our therapists employ various techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices, to help individuals understand and manage their conditions. We also collaborate with medical professionals when necessary to ensure a comprehensive approach to treatment. The goal is to empower our clients with the tools and support they need to improve their sexual health and overall well-being.

Pelvic Pain Disorders can be complex and require a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. At Bethesda Therapy, we understand that each case is unique, and therefore, we offer personalized treatment plans. These may include therapy sessions focused on pain management techniques, stress reduction, and addressing any emotional factors contributing to the pain.

In addition to psychological support, we collaborate with medical professionals to ensure that any underlying medical conditions are addressed. This collaborative approach ensures that our clients receive comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of their pelvic pain disorders, facilitating a more effective and long-lasting relief.

Absolutely. Conditions like vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain can significantly impact intimate relationships. Couples therapy at Bethesda Therapy provides a space for both partners to communicate openly about their challenges and work together towards a solution.

In couples therapy, we address the emotional and psychological impact of these conditions on the relationship, fostering understanding and empathy between partners. Our therapists guide couples in developing new ways of connecting and supporting each other, which can be crucial in overcoming the challenges posed by these conditions. Strengthening the emotional bond often leads to improvements in the physical aspects of the relationship as well.

Vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders are more common than often perceived. Vaginismus, for instance, affects a significant number of women, though exact numbers are hard to determine due to underreporting. Dyspareunia and pelvic pain disorders likewise affect a broad range of individuals, cutting across various age groups and backgrounds.

At Bethesda Therapy, we emphasize that anyone struggling with these conditions is not alone. Our approach is inclusive, catering to all who experience these challenges, irrespective of age or background. Understanding that these conditions are common helps in destigmatizing them, encouraging more individuals to seek the help they need.

Physical therapy is an important component in the treatment of vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders, particularly when these conditions have a physical basis. Physical therapists specializing in pelvic floor conditions can work on muscle relaxation, strengthening, and coordination, which are crucial for alleviating pain and discomfort.

At Bethesda Therapy, we often recommend collaboration with physical therapists as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This integrated approach not only addresses the psychological aspects through therapy but also focuses on the physical rehabilitation necessary for full recovery and improved quality of life.

Lifestyle changes can play a significant role in managing and alleviating symptoms of vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders. These changes might include stress management techniques, diet adjustments, regular exercise, and mindfulness practices. Reducing stress, for instance, can have a positive impact on the body’s pain response and overall emotional well-being.

At Bethesda Therapy, we work with our clients to identify potential lifestyle changes that could support their treatment. We believe in a holistic approach, where mental health therapy is complemented by healthy lifestyle choices, contributing to overall health and well-being.

The duration of treatment for vaginismus, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain disorders varies greatly depending on the individual and the complexity of their condition. Some individuals may see improvement in a few weeks, while others might require a longer period of therapy to address deeper psychological issues or chronic pain.

At Bethesda Therapy, we emphasize that treatment is a journey, not a race. We work at a pace comfortable for our clients, ensuring that treatment is effective and sustainable. Our focus is on providing quality care and support, helping our clients achieve long-term relief and improved quality of life.

Getting Started with Bethesda Therapy

We understand that seeking help can be a big step, but remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to support and guide you on your journey towards a more manageable life. Scheduling a consultation with us is straightforward and the first step towards recovery. Reach out to us either by phoneemail or our website form to book your appointment. Be assured, your confidentiality is our top priority, and we’re committed to providing you with the highest level of care. Take that first step today – we look forward to assisting you.

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What Colleagues Say About Us

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Rose Bleiweis


Melissa is determined, hard-working, and provides a range of therapeutic interventions. She is committed to professional development to further her clinical skills.

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Jen Lodico


Melissa’s skillset was empowering to work with. She is professional and supportive. Melissa is a fantastic therapist who I cannot recommend enough!
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Beth Cocker


Melissa Murphy is a wonderful therapist. She is kind, non-judgmental and empathetic. She truly understands her client’s needs and takes into account the whole-person. I do not hesitate to refer clients to Melissa and enjoy collaborating with her on cases. She is an excellent therapist with expertise in anxiety, depression, and OCD.

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