“After sexual intercourse I felt such pain that I could not walk. Francesca’s vulvodynia: “I changed 8 gynaecologists in one year”
There are many stories of girls suffering from “invisible diseases” affecting the pelvic floor that are still little known even in the medical field. Francesca decided to tell her story: “My head is always ready to feel pain. Immediately after every intercourse I would get cystitis”
“I started to have cystitis after sexual intercourse. But then the discomfort lasted for the following weeks. My head is always ready to feel pain”. Francesca was diagnosed with vulvodynia and pelvic floor contracture. She is a 32-year-old Roman girl who, when she started to notice the first symptoms, tried to talk to her family and doctor but: “It took a long time before someone started to understand me, I felt extremely lonely”.
“I started to have the first pains in 2020”, says Stefania. Immediately after every intercourse I would get cystitis, which was always treated with antibiotics. But then the bacterial infections, such as candida, also started. During intercourse I feel burning and like pins inside my vagina”.
A pain that seems to be “unbearable” at times. “There are periods when I cannot have sex, others when the discomfort is “bearable”. And when I succeed I feel “powerful”. But most of the time I don’t enjoy the moment, my head is always ready to feel pain, which remains so strong in the following weeks that I struggle even to walk”.
With this type of disease, contact with certain types of tissue is also difficult: “I cannot wear jeans, but neither any other loose trousers. I have to wear trousers with a low crotch and sweatpants”.
It was difficult to reach a diagnosis quickly. “I was desperate”, she continues. I changed about 8 gynaecologists in the area in one year. No one understood what I had: all they talked about was mucous membrane changes that needed to be revitalised. Or they would tell me that I had nothing, that maybe I had just had a love disappointment and that it was therefore a psychological problem”.
It is only after a year that Francesca finally finds an answer from a specialised gynaecologist. “Thus began my course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation for the pelvic floor with Dr. Arnold, a treatment based on special electromagnetic stimulation (TOP FMS) that consists of sitting in a very comfortable chair!”
So far I have done five sessions, I still have to do at least a couple more, but I feel that my pelvic floor muscles are much more relaxed.
The treatment is pleasant and it was a discovery to feel the pelvic floor muscles, they are muscles I didn’t even think I had and yet they are essential!
The feeling is really one of liberation and I am also starting to let go even during sexual intercourse.”