Many people suffer UNNECESSARILY with pain during sex! The pain can come from all different things. Three potential reasons you might be having pain with sex include 1) a prior history of trauma, 2) having Postpartum changes (specifically if you are stuck in what is called an ‘Open Birth Pattern’, per the Institute for Birth Healing), and 3) the presence of scar tissue.
Women tell me ALL the time:
“I just want to be intimate with my husband again; sex is a big part of our relationship and right now we can’t have sex [because of the pain or worry that things will “feel different” for her partner}.
DON’T sacrifice the lifestyle YOU desire over problems that can be fixed!
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you worried about pain during sex that doesn’t go away no matter how much lubricant you try or how much foreplay you get ahead of time?
- Are you frustrated that even when you’re “in the mood” you’re still not able to enjoy sex?
- Are you having trouble connecting with and keeping up with your partner and worried how this will affect your relationship long term?
- Do you feel embarrassed when you’re talking with your best girlfriends and you can’t dish about your orgasms…because they’re non-existent?
- Do you feel like as long as your partner is satisfied in the bedroom then it’s not a big deal and you shouldn’t worry about it?
- Have you tried other things and you are still looking for a solution so you can have a satisfying and enjoyable sex life?
If you answered YES you are in the right SPOT!
Women who have pain with sex are often told:
“Try more lube”
“Drink some wine and it will feel better”
“It will be better after you have a baby and things get stretched out”
“If you take these medications everything will be fine”
The Truth Is…
- Resting it doesn’t change anything. You might get a small temporary relief, but then when you try again you’ll still be suffering from pain (I bet you’ve already experienced this!)
- It’s not normal to have pain with sex as you get older or after having babies.
- Scars from childbirth can actually cause problems that weren’t there before.
- Having a baby won’t necessarily “stretch things out” and magically make sex enjoyable.
- Pain pills are addicting, dangerous, and can cause a lot of other problems with your body. Plus they don’t change the underlying cause of pain with sex.
- Injections are not the only options. They’re just the only options a surgeon may offer you.
Just because painful sex is very common, that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as “normal.”
Many women are reluctant to talk about ANY issues they’re having in the pelvic floor, whether it’s incontinence or painful sex. Many don’t open up to friends or loved ones about these issues, and as a result, these problems seem kind of taboo to the average person.
Many people have a diagnosis, or medical term for what’s going on with their body. Maybe their doctor gave it to them, maybe tests showed the diagnosis, or maybe they found it online.
You could have been told that your only choice was to rest, take pain medications, or learn to live with it.
Sometimes, those things bring temporary relief, but they’re not addressing what CAUSED the problem in the first place.
Every woman’s cause of pain with sex is different. No one has the exact same problem caused by the exact same thing as another person.
Our goal at The Healing Spot Physical Therapy is to find out HOW BAD things are and what’s contributing to it so not only does your pain go away, it STAYS AWAY and you can actually enjoy your sex life!
3 REASONS MAY BE HAVING PAIN WITH SEX INSTEAD OF PLEASURE WITH SEX
- Scars or tears into the vaginal area. This might happen with childbirth; you may have natural tears or you may have had an episiotomy. Scars can also happen from pelvic or abdominal surgery. Even C-section scars can cause a lot of problems in the pelvic area, even though they aren’t directly in the area that you may have pain.
- If you have had a baby, you might be stuck in an Open Birth Pattern, even if it’s been years since you had your baby. This is a term coined by Lynn Schults at the Institute For Birth Healing. The pelvis has to go through certain motions in order to have a baby. Regardless if you had a C-section or a vaginal birth your body has to go through certain motions and stretches your muscles along the bottom of your pelvic floor. So when you have penetrative intercourse you might be having pain related to the alignment of your pelvic bones and possibly from lack of mobility)
- You have experienced trauma. This can include sexual trauma, emotional trauma or physical trauma. For emotional trauma, maybe you were in a place where you didn’t feel safe. It could be physical trauma, where you may have fallen off your bike or slipped on ice. It doesn’t have to be a direct force to the genitalia for you to experience a change in the pelvic area and lead to pain during intercourse.
5 TIPS TO EASE PAIN WITH SEX
- Gentle Stretches for the Pelvic Floor Muscles. Find an open space on your wall or against the back of a door. Put your legs up the wall and put one hand at your belly and one at your chest and start with some breath work. Inhale and expand your ribcage, imagining and feeling your breath coming all the way down into the pelvic area. Then exhale. You want to feel your breath coming down underneath your hands. Rest here for about 5 minutes, breathing slowly and fully.
Next, bend your knees and open your hips, bringing your feet towards your bottom and opening your legs. This is a great way to stretch the inner thighs and get some opening up into the pelvic area.
- Pelvic Bowl Meditation. Breathwork and clearing out any stuckness in the pelvic area can help you see what might be underlying any tension, pain and tightness into your pelvis. We made this pelvic bowl meditation video to help guide you, just click here to get started. It’s a great way to visualize the pelvic area and clear out any unresolved trauma, memories or stagnant energy.
- Gentle Scar Release of the Pelvic Floor Muscles . This is NOT a massage, so be gentle with yourself and take your time. This can be done with clean hands and a little lubricant; gently feel into the vaginal opening with your finger and see where you may have pain or tightness. Pay particular attention to anything that might feel like scar tissue (raised or “ropey” feeling). Feel for any areas that feel like they are not moving and are bound up. Gently press into the area (you may or may not experience pain, respect the tissues and don’t force them at all, just press genty) and hold for 3-5 minutes until you feel a softening or release occur. You may feel a softening sensation more than once during this time.
- Orgasm Before Penetration. This should be pretty self-explanatory: Go, Have fun! Do this with yourself or a partner! DIY orgasms count 😉 Having an orgasm prior to penetration can relax the pelvic floor through contractions as you orgasm. That can allow for penetration afterwards without pain. The goal ultimately is to allow for a pleasurable experience, so this can be a fun first-step in the process. Touching, oral sex, erotic toys – they can all be helpful in achieving orgasm, so explore a little
- Vaginal Dilators. These are not sex toys. It might be intimidating to see some of the sizes that vaginal dilators come in, but you can select the size that gives you just a little stretch now and then work your way gradually to bigger sizes until the desired size is reached.
We recommend Intimate Rose vaginal dilators because they are made from silicone, which can be a lot more comfortable than plastic, and they come in a variety of sizes. This allows you to gently stretch out those pelvic floor tissues. To use vaginal dilators, select the desired size, then use some lubricant (we also love Velvet Rose, a water-based lubricant made by Intimate Rose) and insert the dilator a little bit into the vaginal opening and eventually a little further in, as tolerated . You can also push to the side a little bit to get into the side walls of the vaginal space and to work at the vaginal entrance. I recommend starting this with the guidance of a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, who can help you in selecting the best size and give you more tips for success.
Are you missing out on “sexy time” because of pain?!
Want to talk about this more with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?
Give us a call at 719-270-1123! If you have a gut feeling something isn’t right and you just need peace of mind we’d be happy to talk to you. Let us become like a trusted friend whom you can confide in and ask even your most embarrassing questions. We are ready and willing to answer your questions and ease your mind so YOU can feel better. If we can’t help you, we’ll guide you in the right direction of someone who can!
Eager and ready for more information? Check out our “I Thought Sex Was Supposed to Feel Good!” video mini series on You Tube: CLICK HERE
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