Ilana Glazer Suffers From 'Intense' Pelvic Floor Pain & She's Not Alone

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Pelvic floor pain can be excruciating, yet plenty of people suffer in silence. Just ask Ilana Glazer.

In a recent interview with Vogue, the actress, producer, and comedian of Broad City fame opened up publicly about her experience battling “intense” chronic pelvic floor pain. “It’s been one of the deepest sources of pain in my life — I suffered from intense chronic pelvic floor pain for 20 years,” she added in an Instagram post to her 1.3 million followers. “Damn writing that out is wild — 20 yrs!”

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Glazer first experienced pelvic floor pain at just 4 years old, but she was embarrassed and waited years to tell her mother about it. Even then, she struggled to find a doctor who would listen or could help alleviate her pain.

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“I remember being 15 years old and my mom and I sitting there and this doctor telling me that my problem was too problematic for him, and just feeling laughed at and so angry,” she told the magazine. For years, she was misdiagnosed with everything from yeast infections to urinary tract infections (UTIs) — and even slut-shamed by one doctor, who implied that the pain was her fault for having sex with her high school boyfriend. 

It wasn’t until Glazer was in her twenties that she finally found relief through a regimen of stress-relieving measures, like antidepressants and talk therapy, and pelvic floor physical therapy. Since her pregnancy with her first child, who was born in 2021, Glazer has worked with a pelvic floor physical therapist at Origin, a California-based practice that offers virtual and in-person services. She is now teaming up with Origin to help make pelvic floor physical therapy more accessible to folks everywhere. 

Unfortunately, Glazer’s fight to be correctly diagnosed and treated by medical professionals is not unique. Although pelvic floor pain is common among women and people assigned female at birth, it is remarkably understudied — especially when compared to issues that affect people with penises, like erectile dysfunction. (Thanks, medical misogyny.) It often coincides with pregnancy, sexual trauma, or injuries to the pelvic region. Since pain can fluctuate in intensity over time and sometimes has no obvious cause, it can be difficult for doctors to treat appropriately. Many of these treatments are also not covered by insurance in the United States.

It’s exactly why Glazer decided to speak out about her struggles. “I couldn’t believe I wasn’t alone,” the comedian added. So, if you’re experiencing pelvic floor pain for any reason, know that you are not alone. You should feel empowered to seek help from an affirming medical professional.

Before you go, check out these inspiring quotes to help inspire positive attitudes about food and bodies:

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