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  • Writer's pictureDr Rachel Collins

Pain with Sex?

Having pain with intercourse is something very common in women, 1 out of 10 actually will report having pain or discomfort with sex and this an under reported number because many women will suffer in silence. Most of the women that I see that have issues with pain during intercourse start after having a baby but there are also women with pelvic pain that never experienced child birth.

The main cause of pain during sex is pelvic floor tension and involuntary muscle spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. I’m sure if you tried to discuss this with your doctor you got a response like “just relax and have a glass of wine”. While I can't disagree with the relax part but there is a lot more effective ways to help reduce your pain than drinking a glass of wine…even though that would be easier and more fun.

When you have pelvic floor tension the best thing you can do is to help relax your body and pelvic floor. This can be achieved through breathing exercises and pelvic floor stretches.

360 Breathing: This is when we focus on inhaling through the nose and let the air fill our belly, ribs and back. You want to imagine breathing down into the pelvic floor to help stretch the pelvic floor muscles. This will help you increase mobility of your pelvic floor and it has been shown that 360 breathing helps increase your rest and digest state which reduces overall body tension. Please visit blog post on breathing for more information,

Another tip to help reduce tension and pain in the pelvic region is desensitizing the region through touch. I recommend doing this in the shower or bath because warm water helps reduce tension. The more comfortable you are with touching your pelvic region the less anxiety and pain you will have.

Finally you need to think positively about your sexual encounter, if you are already fearful and expecting pain then pain and discomfort is what you will find. Our bodies remember pain and it will already start to guard even at the thought of sex if all you remember is the pain that was present in past experiences. Try to visualize what will happen and keep your thoughts positive and remind yourself that your body has healed and imagine a pleasurable experience.

It breaks my heart when I hear patients of mine saying that they haven’t enjoyed sex with their partners for years when I know about 90% of them just need some education to help them get the fireworks back into the bedroom.

PLEASE don’t suffer in silence, your needs are important and pain or discomfort with inter coure is common and treatable. I encourage you to reach out to your local pelvic floor therapist if you are experiencing pelvic pain with sex or set up a complimentary consultation with me to discuss what can be done for you.

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