Learn why you may be experiencing pain during sex
This is written for the women out there who think or who have been told that pain during sex is normal or that it is just something they have to live with.
First of all, pain anywhere in the body is not normal and should not be ignored. Pain is our body’s way of communicating with us that something needs to be addressed either from a physical or emotional standpoint.
Sex is an important part of our lives and well being so if we are having an issue with sex we need to address it!
If you are having pain with sex, make sure to be checked by your medical doctor because things such as infections or certain conditions like say a cyst on the ovary can cause pain and would need to be addressed medically.
The pelvic floor:
If you have seen your gynecologist and told them about the pain and there is nothing going on medically, then a very likely cause of the pain is tight pelvic floor muscles.
When these muscles are tight, it can make sex painful and can cause difficulty having sex at all.
Think about if you really tightened all the muscles in your pelvic region and did like a maximal kegel, it would be really difficult to engage in penetrative sex like this.
The vaginal muscles need to be in a relaxed state to allow for penetration.
When they are tight, the vaginal canal is more closed making penetrative sex painful or even impossible.
The medical term for painful intercourse is “dyspareunia” in case you have ever heard this.
So why do these muscles get tight?
Any muscle in the body can get tight or shortened and the pelvic floor is no different. There are many reasons that these muscles may become tight.
It’s common in women with endometriosis.
The muscles can also become short and tight from orthopedic issues. Maybe you injured your hip and it was never fully addressed and now the pelvic floor is getting tight (the hip and pelvis are closely related).
It’s also common in women who are postpartum. We always think that the muscles become weak after having a baby but in some women the opposite actually happens. The pelvic muscles can respond to the “trauma” they experience during the birthing process by tightening up.
Another reason is sometimes we hold these muscles in a contracted state without realizing it and they can become tight over time.
It is not always something physical that causes tightness in these muscles, it can be emotional as well.
Some people tend to hold their stress in the pelvic floor. Have you ever been stressed out and felt your neck or upper traps become really tense? The same thing can happen in the pelvic muscles! Everyone holds their stress differently.
Another possible cause is your history and personal experience with sex. If you had been sexually abused in the past or had experienced an abusive relationship, the body may react by tightening these muscles.
So I know that was a lot but I wanted to give you a good idea on a variety of possibilities that can cause painful sex. There are more than I have written out but I think this gives you a good idea.
If you're having pain with sex, there is help out there for you!
My goal with this blog post is to encourage women to speak up if they are having pain with sex and to not be afraid to talk about it.
I know it is hard to talk about and that it is common that women feel embarrassed about bringing this up to their doctors but I am serious when I say there is nothing to be ashamed of!
First, it is more common than you think.
Second, sex is an important part of life and you don’t need to suffer.
Third, your doctor really won’t be phased by it!
I’m telling you, I specialize in pelvic health and I still have had patients embarrassed to tell me that they are having pain during sex. I’m like this is my speciality you don’t need to be embarrassed and in all honestly it is something I hear all the time, it doesn’t phase me! I’m sure most other medical professional feel the same way.
Also, if you have brought this up to a doctor who did not address it or who said you just have to live with it, please find another doctor.
The good news is that by talking about it you can get help! The even better news is you don’t have to have painful sex for the rest of your life! There are many treatment options out there for you. Whether it be a medical intervention from your doctor, pelvic floor physical therapy, home exercises/stretches, yoga, or maybe psychological therapy. There is a treatment plan out there for you.
I hope this helped you and empowered you to seek out help so you can start to enjoy sex again!
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