Managing chronic pain and its impact on one’s quality of life and sex life can be difficult, but pelvic pain can impact a whole new level. Many people suffer from pain during intercourse, often in the shadows without knowing there is something that can often be done. This is not something we should suffer with alone. This is not an expected sensation, and there are people out there to help, including key ones worth mentioning = pelvic floor physiotherapists. If any of these are relevant to you then you should consider meeting with one of trusted pelvic physiotherapists.
Have you …
- Endured pain while inserting a tampon?
- Suffered pain in certain sexual positions, OR, at the start or throughout sex?
- Found yourself fearing and avoiding sex?
- Been told to just relax and use more lube?
You may suffer from dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), PVD (Provoked Vestibulodynia; pain in the vulva vestibule when touched or attempted penetration), or even vaginismus (involuntary contraction of pelvic muscles during attempted penetration). These conditions are treatable and are not a dead end to your health, pleasure, and love life.
How does my pelvic floor relate to my pain?
Pelvic floor muscles are attached from your pubic bone (front low pelvis bone), your coccyx (tailbone), and your ischial tuberosities (sitz bones). If there are any issues with tightness, or previous scarring, it can be the source of your problem. Some physical causes may vary; as some include frequent urinary tract or yeast infections, tearing, complications during childbirth, and a history of pelvic surgery. Some non-physical causes may vary, from trauma/stress from a sexual experience, to fear and anxiety of the associated pain, all of which usually lead to tightening of the pelvic floor muscles and increased pain.
What can I expect at my initial consultation?
First off, we will complete a full history to get as much necessary information from our client, regarding their pain, which often involves very specific and personal questions, including:
- Where is it painful during sex?
- Can you describe your pain?
- When is it painful (penetration, post-ejaculation, etc.)?
- Do you notice a change in your pain, based on sexual positions? Explain.
- Has your ability to orgasm changed?
- Are you taking any medications? Which ones?
- Have you had any dryness issues (lubrication)?
Answers to these questions will help dictate what the physiotherapist must examine during the functional and physical examination component of the consultation.
A physiotherapist can treat you by incorporating education, examination, manual therapy, internal manual therapy, release techniques, and giving exercises including posture tips and guidance with breathing exercises. All these treatments are natural and lead towards a sustainable and maintainable fix to this problem.
If you are suffering with pain during intercourse, and wish to regain normal sexual function, do not hesitate to contact one of our pelvic physiotherapists to schedule a consultation or with any questions. They are here to help and to offer long-term solutions to your pains. Don’t let this be your life.
A few exercises to try on your own, before consulting us for help:
- The supported squat
- Butterfly (seated or semi-reclined)
- Wide legged child pose