Cervical fibrosis or stenosis (stiffening) can be a significant problem for women who have infertility or deep intercourse pain (dyspareunia). In some cases, women do not realize that they have cervical stenosis. You can often diagnose it yourself by feeling your cervix. Is it soft and pliable, or is it quite firm? If it is firm, that indicates a cervix with stenosis.
One of the causes of cervical stenosis is infection, caused by exposure to items from the outside world. Over the course of a woman’s life, items enter the vagina from the outside environment. Whether the item is a tampon, a finger, a device or a partner during intercourse, those items are generally not sterilized.
If those objects have any bacteria on them, bacterial infections can occur. Bacteria can thrive in the warm, moist, and dark environment of the vagina. A woman may have infections that are considered subclinical – that is an infection without symptoms. Even if the woman is not taking antibiotics for a vaginal, bladder or yeast infection, the body realizes that cells within the vagina are being damaged. In response, the immune system sends in tiny strands of collagen in an attempt to surround and isolate the affected area. Like the strands of a nylon rope, these internal strands can be tiny but powerful.
Inside the vagina, these tiny strands can form on the vaginal wall, at the entrance of the vagina (introitus), or at the cervix. Once formed, these tiny internal bonds (now called adhesions) can bind structures together causing pain or contributing to infertility. Adhesions that form on the vaginal wall can cause significant pain at the introitus, or deeper within the area during sexual intercourse. Adhesions that form at the cervix or tailbone can cause pain with deep penetration.
Patients sometimes tell us, “It feels like my partner is hitting something.” The partner is generally hitting an adhered cervix or coccyx. When adhesions form at the cervix, it tends to tighten, narrow or close the entrance to the uterus. This can cause pain and will decrease the opportunity for a partner’s sperm to enter the uterus during conception. For in vitro fertilization, cervical stenosis can make it difficult for the physician to insert a catheter (flexible straw) into the woman’s uterus to place the husband’s sperm or fertilized egg, risking the embryo being damaged or worse by the relatively cool air in the room.
As well as causing tightness at the cervix, cervical stenosis can create a pull on the uterus so that over time, with every step a woman takes there is pull up into the uterus that can cause inflammation and pain. The body’s response to inflammation is to create more adhesions, resulting in adhesions blanketing the inner wall of the uterus. Over time, the adhesions from cervical stenosis can ascend within the uterus to block one or both fallopian tubes making a bad situation even worse. When adhesions cover the inner wall or block fallopian tubes, they decrease a woman’s ability to conceive.
The Clear Passage therapy restores the body back to its healthy condition before adhesions formed on the cervix. This manual therapy has helped:
- decrease or eliminate deep intercourse pain,
- increase the mobility and function of the cervix,
- increase natural fertility, and
- improve success rates for in vitro fertilization.
The directors and therapists here at Clear Passage have been treating cervical stenosis and tailbone pain successfully since 1989; we know this area very well. Our goal is to decrease the adhesions at the cervix or coccyx that are causing pain, closing the cervical opening and decreasing your chance for fertility. We have seen excellent results in both of these categories for our patients with cervical stenosis. We encourage you to contact us to see if our treatment is right for you!