Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: Healing Painful Sex

I have only one question for the authors, Deborah Coady and Nancy Fish; where was this book all my life!?

Healing Painful Sex: A Woman's Guide to Confronting, Diagnosing, and Treating Sexual Pain is probably one of the most important books I've read this year alone. This book would have been a godsend when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis. Or dealing with the beginnings of IBS. Or the multiple urinary tract infections in college.

It is a hefty tome, clocking in at almost four hundred pages, with all the chocked full references included, but it is a must have on every woman's bookshelf. The book is divided into three parts: Naming the Problem, Understanding the Problem, and Overcoming the Problem. The authors give step by step instructions for everything from how to pick the right doctor (one who is caring and listens), how to figure out exactly what is causing the pain and how to begin to heal your life from the illness that splintered your world. The references are a dream guide, which include not only recommended books, but doctors, associations, physical therapists, pharmacies, places to get sexual aids, and even websites that have pain assessment tools.

Coady and Fish, even being medical professionals themselves, advise a great relationship with your primary care doctor, but also have tons of alternative healing advice to give. Yoga, deep sleep techniques, physical therapy, acupuncture, along with many others are also advised to begin the healing the process, even if you haven't found a great doctor to connect with.

The language is caring and sensitive (for the most part because my only issue with this book was that while it strives to be inclusive, there are moments when the language slips into heternormativity) and the love and understanding is felt in every page. These authors want to help every single woman who has ever dealt with sexual pain lead a pain free life.

This is a monumentally important book that needs to be on everyone's wishlist this year. Pick one up for every  woman in your life. They will thank you for it.

(Photo credit: Seal Press/I received a review copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.)

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