If you experience pain with sex, you are not alone, up to 75% of women will experience painful penetration at some stage in their lives, the good news is HELP IS AVAILABLE.
While having a conversation about sex among friends is sometimes taboo, it is a conversation we have in clinic with all our ladies. A huge part of our consults is listening to your story, discussing when and why sex became painful and educating you on strategies to get you back to enjoying pain free sex.
You may experience pain:
With initial penetration
Deep inside (‘thudding’)
Sensitivity around vulva or entrance to vagina
Pain after sex, particularly worse post orgasm
Reasons pain may be occurring:
Changes in hormones throughout different stages of our lives (pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause & menopause). Often associated with low oestrogen.
Over-active/tight pelvic floor muscles
Scar tissue post-surgery, trauma, birth
Chronic Gynaecological or Urological conditions such as endometriosis, bladder pain syndrome and Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Neural sensitivities & damage as a result of trauma e.g. child birth
What to do?
If able, get assessed by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist. An in-depth conversation and internal examination are invaluable in treating you effectively. From here tailored treatment for your body can be prescribed which may include: internal & external releases, exercises & stretches, TENS/EStim and more.
Some things you can do for yourself, includes:
Discussion with GP re: oestrogen creams ~ assists with dryness at the entrance to the vagina
Deep breathing exercises for pelvic floor relaxation & rib mobility
Massage/releases/stretches of muscles that may be contributing to your pain such as Glutes, Adductors, Psoas, Erector Spinae
If you are still having sex: modify the positions, have foreplay and use lube to decrease friction and dryness.
If the above resonates with you & you want to learn more, book your consult with Ripple's Women's Health Physiotherapist, Doctor Catherine of Physiotherapy.
Remember: SEX SHOULD NOT BE PAINFUL