Enjoying Sex and Maintaining Intimacy with Pelvic Pain

Paper hearts, red glitter, floral bouquets… love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to heat up your sex life; however, pain and fear of pain during sex can change your relationship with your body and your partner.

Pain during sexual intercourse is common for women:

    • During pregnancy
    • While recovering from birth
    • With tension in their pelvic floors
    • Who have experienced trauma
    • Under chronic stress

Experiencing pain during sex can trigger fear, stress, anxiety, and put a strain on your relationship. It’s important not to struggle in silence. A pelvic physiotherapist can definitely help you figure it out. Understanding the ‘why’ behind your pain is a good first step.

Common Causes of Pelvic Pain


During the pregnancy, your body is under stress by the extra weight of a growing baby. This constant pressure can make your pelvic floor weak and tight. Checking in with a pelvic physiotherapist after the first trimester of your pregnancy will help you get in touch with your pelvic floor and prevent future aches and pain as your pregnancy progresses. If you’re already experiencing pain during sex before meeting a pelvic physiotherapist, it’s even more important to check in with a pelvic physiotherapist for good pelvic floor health throughout your pregnancy.

Recovering after Birth

No matter how you deliver, pregnancy puts a strain on your pelvic floor. With vaginal birth, you’re at risk of having perineal tearing, which can cause pain during sex due to build-up of scar tissue after birth. Maintaining a good balance of strength and flexibility at the pelvic floor during pregnancy can reduce your risks of perineal tearing during delivery. Even if you’ve already given birth, pelvic physiotherapy can still help. Recovery from pain during sex can begin at any stage: you’re never alone and it’s never too late to reach out for relief.

Tension or Weakness in your Pelvic Floor

Ever heard of ‘Kegels’? Popularized by Sex and the City, these ‘down-there’ exercises are broadly known as the secret to great sex! Did you know though, often Kegels aren’t the answer. For many women, the reason behind their pain during sexual intercourse is tightness. Tension at the pelvic floor can affect your lower back, hip muscles, and your ability to enjoy sex. In this case, it’s critical to ease your pelvic floor muscles first then properly strengthen them. 

How to Maintain your Sex Life with Pelvic Pain

Our pelvic floor does a lot for us and keeping our pelvic floor healthy is a main ingredient for your happy sex life. While you are working with your pelvic physiotherapist towards recovery, there are ways for you and your partner to continue, or restart being intimate.

Different positions: Spooning and woman on top are the two most comfortable positions, allowing you to have more control during sex. And don’t forget: lube it up! 

Self stimulation: Ladies, masturbation is normal and a healthy way to fulfill your needs. Especially if you’re not enjoying intercourse because of the pain, going back to the basics is a great option!

Toys and Oral sex: These are great alternatives for both you and your partner to sexual intercourse. 

Touch: Exploring each other’s bodies through touch can be exciting, and definitely intimate. Touch can include holding hands, cuddling, massaging, and kissing.

Talk with your partner about what works best for both of you and explore other forms of intimacy you can practice together. With InvigoPhysio, you can work towards a healthy pelvic floor and a thriving sex life. For a memorable Valentine’s Day in Toronto, check out these fun dates ideas!

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