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5 Reasons Sex Hurts and Why Your Pelvic Floor Matters

man leaning in from left hand side to greet woman on right hand side who is smiling, only their faces are seen as they talk about why sex hurts and why pelvic floor health matters for both of them, indoors

For a lot of us, sex is a big part of our romantic relationships. Yet, for many women, sexual penetration can be painful or downright impossible and the reason often lies within your pelvic floor muscles. Here are the five reasons you may be experiencing pain during sex.

Pain during sexual intercourse is common for women:

  •         During pregnancy
  •         After birth
  •         Who have tension at the pelvic floor
  •         Who have experienced trauma
  •         Who have felt severe, long-term stress

If you also need to pee often or have trouble with your bladder or bowel, it’s another sign your pelvic floor needs help. Having your pelvic floor tested by a pelvic physiotherapist is a good way to figure out the ‘why’ behind your sexual issues.

Pregnancy, Birth and Pelvic Health

For women who are pregnant, the pelvic floor undergoes a lot of stress because of the extra weight of your baby. Pregnancy is the number one thing that can lead to a weaker and tense pelvic floor. If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you can protect your pelvic floor and your sexual health by having a pelvic floor check-up after your first trimester.

Pregnant woman in black t-shirt sitting in a bright field holding her pregnant belly with both hands thinking about her pelvic floor health

Vaginal birth can increase risks of having bladder issues, and tearing of the pelvic floor muscles. This tearing can lead to scar tissue build up and can cause issues during sex after birth. It’s a misconception that women who give birth by c-section will not have issues down there after birth, but, no matter how you deliver, pregnancy puts a lot of stress on your pelvic floor. Birth preparation with a pelvic physiotherapist can reduce the risk of tearing during delivery and the risk of sex issues after birth.

Improving Intimacy

Even if you’re not pregnant or haven’t given birth, feeling pain during sex is common and can put a strain on your romantic relationship. Share your sexual health needs with your partner and explain that pelvic floor issues are natural and usually treatable.

While you are healing, there are things you and your partner can do to improve intimacy. Certain positions can give you more control during sex and allow you to slow things down the moment you feel pain. And don’t forget, proper lubrication is key! These options can help, but, sometimes penetration can be just too painful for some women. Remember, penetration during sex is not the only way to experience intimacy. Talk with your partner and figure out what works best for both of you.

Young couple, woman on the left, man on the right, sit in a bright field together while laughing, talking about sexual and pelvic floor health, and leaning towards one another

Our pelvic floor does a lot for us and keeping our pelvic floor healthy is a main ingredient for a happy sex life. If you feel pain during intercourse remember there are options for you and that you are not alone. Learn about your treatment options and get your sex life back-on-track by reaching out to our pelvic physiotherapist today.

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