Enjoy Sex Without Pain!

Sex is meant to bring you pleasure, not pain. So why is it that so many women experience sex that is unsatisfying, frustrating, or extremely painful?

If you’ve been putting up with pain during sex, give yourself permission to press pause. Then allow these three truths into your life today:

1) You can completely recover from painful sex. 2) You can discover joy and pleasure in sex again. 3) Your sexual health, wellness, and satisfaction is a worthy pursuit.

If any of these truths resonate with you, then you’re on the right track already. We are here to walk with you on the journey to a better sex life.

I’m Over Painful Sex

Dyspareunia is a type of genito pelvic/penetration pain disorder (GPPPD). Although you may have been diagnosed with dyspareunia, it is more descriptive medical terminology than an actual diagnosis. It simply means pain during penetrative intercourse. A diagnosis of “dyspareunia” labels what you are experiencing, but it does not explain why you may be experiencing pain.

Many factors can contribute to the development of pain during sex. They include:

  • viral, bacterial, or fungal infections
  • vaginal pH imbalances
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • vaginal dryness and irritation
  • vulvar skin changes
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy, postpartum, or perimenopause
  • oral contraceptives
  • episiotomy
  • hypertonicity in pelvic floor muscles
  • chemicals in personal care products (eg. lube, soaps, condoms etc)
  • allergic reactions
  • female genital cutting
  • labial micro tears
  • vulvovaginal and anal fissures
  • pudendal nerve irritation or pelvic nerve compression
  • restrictive scar tissue or connective tissue
  • pelvic or abdominal surgeries
  • central nervous system sensitization
  • a combination of any of the above
  • and more

Please note – just because you have a contributing factor listed above does not mean you will develop dyspareunia. The development of ongoing pain is more complex than simply having one of the issues above.

Dyspareunia is also associated with the following conditions:

  • vaginismus
  • endometriosis
  • vulvodynia
  • vestibiodynia
  • lichen sclerosus
  • clitorodynia
  • coccydynia
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • labral tears
  • painful bladder syndrome
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • treatments for breast cancer and other cancers

Depending on the causative factors, pelvic floor physiotherapy can help you return to normal, pain free sexual function. We work on two big areas:

1) The tissues of your pelvic floor, pelvis, tailbone, and hips. We:

  • evaluate and treat pelvic joints, muscles, and fascia
  • treat prolapse, constipation or other mechanical/structural pelvic floor issues
  • mobilize scar and connective tissue
  • improve pelvic tissue health, hydration, sensitivity, friction and pressure tolerance
  • restore normal tone and texture in tight or short pelvic floor muscles
  • provide education on factors/conditions impacting sexual health and function
  • provide product recommendations (dilators, therapy wands, lubes) and instruction

2) Your brain and central nervous system.

Your brain dictates your experience of pain. Your brain is also changed by your experience of pain.

Here is the frustratingly ironic thing about dyspareunia: the more you engage in painful sex, the more sex becomes painful. Essentially, you practice pain. You brain and body learn. And your brain gets better and better at producing pain each time.

So we need to break the brain-body-pain cycle. The best way to do so is from the top down. Re-wiring your brain maps and brain pathways is an important part of treating dyspareunia. We teach you multiple strategies that will help your nervous system relearn a new way of being.

Our Dyspareunia Treatment Programs

We start by getting to know you and understanding your pain. We want to know how dyspareunia is affecting your life, what you have tried, and what you hope to experience. We’ll ask questions about your pelvic health and look at your bigger health picture as well.

After this, we check out how your unique body is working and let you know what we find. Our programs include custom recommendations, hands on strategies, practical advice, step by step home exercise protocols, email support, accountability, educational resources, product recommendations, letters to your healthcare team, and more.

All that we offer is designed to help you heal from sexual pain – and move forward to sexual enjoyment!

Our dyspareunia programs will work well for you if…

  • You’ve been medically cleared of pathology or infection that may be causing pain with sex

  • You’re willing to explore bio-psycho-social-emotional contributors to your pain experience

  • You have patience with and grace with yourself

  • You approach your sexual self with judgement-free curiosity

My physio is amazing! She met with me several weeks after I had given birth, and helped address my postpartum pelvic floor issues. I had had 2nd-degree tearing, and some of my stitches ripped open a few days later, prolonging my healing process, and causing tightness and pain when it came to intercourse. She was very professional, and yet, so easy to talk to and discuss my intimate concerns with.  Suffice it to say, my husband was also very thankful for the all time she spent working with me.

~E.P.

So Where Shall We Take It From Here?