You had your baby 6 weeks ago and your provider finally clears you to be able to engage in intimacy with your partner again. You communicate with your loved one and are eager to finally have some alone time with them. But once you try to have sex, something is wrong…. It hurts and you don’t know why. Your OBGYN never mentioned this at your appointment and you thought everything was healed.
Or, maybe you’ve recently gone through menopause and you’ve noticed some changes that your doctor describes as “normal” because of your age. You and your husband are still madly in love but you’ve noticed that any sexual activity is painful.
Dyspareunia is defined as persistent or recurrent genital pain before, during, or after sex.
In physical therapy, we define it as pain with intimacy. This symptom can be further described as pain with initial insertion into the vaginal canal, pain with deeper penetration into the vaginal canal, or both. Patients might also experience pain in the genital region with stimulation to the external genital structures.
Pain with intimacy can be caused from hormonal irregularities, scar tissue from childbirth or surgeries, trauma, low libido, PTSD, vaginismus, vulvodynia, coccydynia, prolapse, pelvic floor muscle overactivity and more. It is also associated with jaw pain and pain with GYN exams or tampon insertion.
The good news is pelvic floor physical therapy can help alleviate pain associated with intimacy and sex. Physical therapists can utilize different manual therapy techniques in addition to teaching exercises, relaxation, and mindfulness training to ensure patients can take control of their dyspareunia. There are also tools and exercises that can be used or performed at home to ensure that the tips you learn in PT can be utilized outside of PT.
I, Dr. Jana, have received specialized training in treating dyspareunia and would love to help you!
At MOTION RX we believe that pain should not limit anyone in doing the things they love and that includes being intimate with your partner. As women, we often believe that we have to accept certain symptoms because we have had a child or are aging but I am here to tell you this is NOT TRUE!
Physical therapy is a great treatment option for pain with sex and intimacy. Knowledge can be so empowering so let’s get you out of pain and back to feeling emotionally connected with your loved one.
If you are dealing with any issues or pain with intimacy, we’d love an opportunity to learn more about what’s going on and see how we can help. Click the link below to book your free 15minute consult!
“Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Sept. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/painful-intercourse/symptoms-causes/syc-20375967#:~:text=The%20medical%20term%20for%20painful,before%2C%20during%20or%20after%20sex