Female Pain with Sex
(The # 1 Culprit & How to Fix it)
The first couple I treated for vaginism was engaged for nearly five years but could not have sex. I clearly remember a young woman from Iran sitting in front of me. She was highly educated, professionally very successful and beautiful. She expressed significant concerns regarding her ability to be a woman and fulfill the dream of having “normal” sexual relationship with her fiancée. After five years of trying, the outlook for life did not look promising to her. She was even questioning her future with her fiancé, and her ability to stay in this or any other relationship, as well as get pregnant and become mother.
Even though her fiancé was very devoted to this relationship, she somehow felt she is less of a woman and therefore undeserving of him. She was afraid that her fiancée would leave her at some point and she even offered him a break up as an exit strategy from a relationship that “does not work”. Being physically unable to have sex due to a rare and painful condition called vaginismus was affecting this couple’s life in a profound way. Being with someone you love and unable to have sex with was a torture for both.
It was a real joy to see this woman change with treatment she has received. As she progressed with treatment and got better day after day, she also regained confidence and found a new hope for the future. After six months of treatment she talked about getting married, having children and enjoying her life again.
This couple was just one of many suffering from this problem. The truth is that you are not alone and since millions of women have pain with sex. According to Andrew Goldstein (MD) and director of center of vulvovaginal disorders and specialist in sexual pain disorders, 20 million American women find sex painful and experience pain with intercourse at some point. Many women have issues with painful sex but not so many talk about it, seek help or know that help is available. In case they ask their general physician about this, they might be told that sex has to hurt a little and to just take it easy. The cold truth is that most general physicians don’t know how to treat sexual pain and might even consider this condition insignificant. In result, your general practitioner might advise no treatment and ask you just to be patient and “take it easy”. However, you know by know that taking it easy does not help. This condition is not harmless since it can lead to years of suffering, low confidence, pain and more tightness and pain if left untreated. This can even lead to chronic pain condition.
The number one culprit of most common female sexual pain is stress, tension, non-relaxing pelvic floor and spasm of pelvic floor muscles. Pain with penetration and deep trusting is most common and most prevalent type of sexual pain. This pain is indication of tightness, scarring or spasm of superficial or deep pelvic floor muscles. The good news is that it is successfully treated with relaxation, stretching and pelvic floor re-training.
The number one culprit: Tension and Stress
- Tension: Sexual pain is very often caused by increased tension or even spasm of pelvic floor muscles. Studies have shown that physical therapy, biofeedback, and muscle relaxants are very helpful to loosen muscle spasms and strengthen the pelvic floor. To try and help yourself at home, watch this video to learn pelvic floor relaxation routine. In this video I am taking you thorough Yoga poses and healing movement specially designed to open up pelvic, stretch pelvic floor, create more mobility, enjoyment and less pain with sex.
- Stress: Most of us have million things to do in a day, and you take that tension to bed with you. Being able to relax and de-stress is essential for enjoyable sexual life. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to relax and de-stress before you go to bed. Learning guided meditation, de-stressing tips and tricks helps prevent taking tension in bed. All of this will not just improve your sexual life and relationship, but improve your overall immunity, cardiovascular and general health.
- Taking Meditation/Yoga class are very useful. We are creating one at Lilly PT and it is provided as a part of pelvic pain solution package.
At Lilly Physical Therapy, we have:
- Extensive experience in treating pelvic pain, vaginismus, incontinence and pregnancy related aches and pains.
- Great outcomes with prolapse and incontinence.
- We use fast acting techniques with permanent results.
- We treat the root cause of the problem, as well the whole person, not just symptom.
- We help women return to a life where sex doesn’t hurt and their relationships are no longer in jeopardy.