Pelvic floor rehabilitation pain during intercourse, what Physiotherapy can do!
Dyspareunia is the term for recurring pain in the genital area or inside the pelvis during intercourse. This pain can be sharp or intense. It can occur before, during or after intercourse and is more common in women than men. The pelvic floor muscles traverse the area under the pelvis, support the pelvic organs and control the passage of urine, feces and gas. Besides that, they allow for adequate comfort and pleasure during sex.
What are the causes of painful intercourse for women?
Vaginismus is an involuntary contraction or spasm of the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles, which results in preventing sexual intercourse. It can happen that many women, with vaginismus, also experience pain when inserting a tampon or during a gynecological exam. Vaginismus can be caused by emotional factors resulting from the persistence of chronic pelvic pain.
2. Vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis
Vulvodynia is burning, itching, pain or swelling, or a combination of the above, that is felt in the entire vulva or in a specific area of the vulva for more than three months. Vulvar vestibulitis is pain that occurs in the vestibule (the area of the vulva that surrounds the vaginal opening). Both often cause pain and burning during sex, particularly upon entry.
3. Genital injury
Trauma to a woman’s genitals, including female genital mutilation, accident injuries, watery eyes from intercourse, recent childbirth, or pelvic surgery is a common cause of painful sex for women.
4. Vaginal dryness
About 17% of women between the ages of 18 and 50 experience vaginal dryness during sex, causing pain and watery eyes that put women at risk for infection. Women often experience vaginal dryness due to a lack of arousal or emotional stress. According to another study, about 56% of women experience vaginal dryness after menopause.
Endometriosis is a condition in which cells, such as cells in the uterine lining, grow outside the uterus: in the ovaries, in the fallopian tubes or on the intestines. Penetration and movement during sex can stretch the endometrial tissue causing painful sex.
6. Sexually transmitted infections
Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause pain during sex due to local swelling, irritation, blisters, and more. STIs associated with painful intercourse for women include gonorrhea, herpes, molluscum contagiosum, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Although pelvic inflammatory disease is not an STI itself, it often results from an untreated STI and causes pain during sex.
7. Emotional factors
Emotions are deeply intertwined with sexual activity, so they may play a role in sexual pain. Emotional factors include:
- Psychological issues, psychological problems. Anxiety, depression, concerns about physical appearance, fear of intimacy, or relationship problems can all contribute to low arousal and subsequent discomfort or pain.
- Fatigue. The pelvic floor muscles tend to contract in response to the stress of life. This can contribute to pain during intercourse.
- History of sexual abuse. Not all individuals with dyspareunia have a history of sexual abuse, but if present in the person’s history, it can play a role.
It can be difficult to tell whether emotional factors are associated with dyspareunia. This is because the initial pain can lead to fear of recurring pain, making it difficult to relax, which can lead to more pain. This condition could lead to avoiding sexual intercourse if it is associated with pain.
What symptoms does dyspareunia cause?
If you have difficult relationships, you may feel pain:
- Only during the first penetration.
- With each penetration, including putting a tampon.
- Deep, during the push.
- Lancinating that persists hours after intercourse.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation pain during intercourse, what solutions?
Following due investigations and excluding bacterial and fungal infections, pain can be effectively treated with physiotherapy techniques. This is because most women with pain in the pelvic area have increased tension or spasm (vaginismus) of the floor. To cope with this problem, there are several treatment options. Physical therapy, medications, dietary modifications, stress and pain management, counseling, and exercise are common therapeutic approaches. In some situations, surgery may be an option.
Physiotherapy treatment deals with many aspects, ranging from learning to control both the contraction and relaxation of the muscles surrounding the vagina, desensitizing areas that are painful to touch, use of vaginal inserts, and information regarding dietary changes. A women’s health physiotherapist can be extremely helpful in pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation, particularly for resolving pain-related issues.
Rehabilitation treatment of the pelvic floor
Pelvic floor therapy consists in relaxing the pelvic muscles often in tension in case of chronic pelvic pain. Physical therapies such as Tens are also useful to reduce pain and Tecar therapy which softens the tissues by hydrating and stimulating connective regeneration and induces in modality capacitive a pleasant relaxation of the muscles.
The Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist!
Pelvic floor physiotherapists are trained in anatomy, physiology and function of the lumbo-pelvic region. Pelvic floor physiotherapists are trained to identify and treat dysfunction with the pelvic floor, as well as the contributing systems. The goal is to have a positive effect on the system as a whole. Pelvic floor rehabilitation is therefore an approach to improve the strength and function of the muscles that support the bladder, urethra and other organs within the pelvis.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation, a winning therapy!
Pelvic rehabilitation is a special type of physical therapy that is used to treat conditions of the pelvic region. These are the muscles and organs between the navel and the thighs and can present symptoms through problems with the intestines, bladder, or reproductive organs. The figure who is responsible for supporting the patient, guiding him to discover this musculature is the physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are committed to treating pain-related issues in order to make patients feel safe and comfortable. The physical therapist is well versed in a variety of techniques that can offer pain relief or help manage a condition. The proposed treatments can offer patients the opportunity to regain control of their bodies, finally managing to fully enjoy the joys of sex.
WATCH VIDEO: Physical therapist pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor rehabilitation pain during intercourse, a complex topic as we have seen and certainly cannot end with this short article. The internet has been instrumental in allowing patients to learn embarrassing or taboo topics in the privacy of their homes and has led many to seek physiotherapy as an effective treatment option for pelvic conditions. Today we cannot hide behind a modest attitude of shyness linked to old conceptions. The sex life of a couple and of the single individual is very important and determines our way of life.