Manual Techniques Aimed at Easing Chronic Vulvar Pain Prior to Internal Assessment

  • Hartmann, D, Sherman, T, Perzan, C
  • Hartmann, D, Sherman, T, Perzan, C
  • VJSM 2024 1 :067
  • 06:08



Hartmann, D, Sherman, T, Perzan, C

Key Words

Chronic vulvar pain, pain with examination, painful vaginal penetration, pain with sex


Seventy-five percent of women in the US have had pain with sex at least once in their lives. As many as 16% of women in the US have chronic vulvar pain that has lasted longer than 3 months. That pain leaves most of them unable to withstand vaginal penetration, be it with inserting a tampon, a sex toy, an erect penis, or a medical speculum. The video was created to introduce 5 exercises that women can do for themselves to help ease pain at the opening of the vagina before undergoing any type of vulvar touch and/or vaginal penetration. When the exercises are done twice daily, they may possibly help those with chronic vulvar pain gain a tool that will help them begin to heal themselves. The video was created as an abstract and initially presented at the World Congress of the ISSVD in 2017 in Mendoza, Argentina.



There are no disclosures, financial or otherwise, for any of those involved in creating the video.


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b. Hartmann D. Chronic vulvar pain from a physical therapy perspective. Dermatol Ther. 2010;23(5):505-13.

c. Strauhal MJ, Frahm J, Morrison P, Featherstone W, Hartmann D, Florendo J, Parker S. Vulvar Pain: A Comprehensive Review. J Women’s Health Phys Ther. 2007;31(3):7-26.

d. Hartmann D, Strauhal MJ, Nelson CA. Treatment of women in the United States with localized, provoked vulvodynia: practice survey of women’s health physical therapists. J Repro Med. 2007; 52(1). Reprinted in Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. 2007;31(3):34-38.

e. Haefner HK, Collins ME, Davis GD, Edwards L, Foster DC, Hartmann EDH, Kaufman RH, Lynch PJ, Margesson LJ, Moyal-Barracco M, Piper CK, Reed BD, Stewart EG, Wilkinson EJ. The vulvodynia Guideline. J Lower Gen Tract Dis. Vol 9(1), 2005.

f. Hartmann EH, Nelson CA. The perceived effectiveness of physical therapy treatment on women complaining of chronic vulvar pain and diagnosed with either vulvar vestibulitis syndrome or dysesthetic vulvodynia. Journal of the Section on Women’s Health, APTA. 25(4), Dec 2001.

g. Glazer HI, Jantos M, Hartmann EH, Sweencionis C. Electromyographic comparisons of the pelvic floor in vulvodynia and asymptomatic women. J Repro Med. 1998;43(11).

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