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Pain with Intercourse

Many individuals don't like to talk about their sex life. Understandably it's a very personal and private topic. The problem with this is when issue's arise, they don't get discussed with medical providers, or even close friends/family. Dysfunction in the bedroom can feel very isolating. 

Pain with intercourse is very common. You are absolutely not alone. Additionally, it's not something that you've caused intentionally, or that you don't care for your partner (even if sex is casual!). 

                                            Person looking concerned because of pelvic pain

Why do I have pelvic pain with intercourse?

There are a variety of reasons you may be experiencing pain with sex: 

  • Postpartum: tear during a vaginal delivery 
  • A history of abuse (any kind) 
  • Pelvic floor muscles are overactive
  • Nerve pain 
  • Post-menopausal 
  • AND MORE! 

The great news is that pelvic floor physical therapy absolutely can address components of pain with intercourse! 

Intercourse can feel dry, burning and painful with a pelvic floor dysfunction

Orgasms are important!

You know what else is equally as important as pain free sex? ORGASM! When was the last time a medical practitioner asked you if you could have an orgasm? Probably never right? But it's important in our sexual healthiness! Sex should feel good and it should be fun! Pelvic floor physical therapy can also address the lack of orgasm with you, even if you don't have any pain with intercourse.                   

Lubricant! Sex! Orgasm! What on earth kind of physical therapy is this and how is it going to help you?! 

Treating your pelvic pain

The first step in treating pain with intercourse is assessing the pelvic floor muscles and how well they function. More often than not they are tight and tender to touch! Your pelvic floor physical therapist can assess them externally and internally, without the use of a speculum.

We work in a clockwise fashion to identify the different muscles that are sore, release them and teach you good breathing techniques as well as pelvic floor drops (just a fancy way to say actively relaxing your muscles).


Once we get these muscles less tense, often sex becomes less painful because they can now stretch! 

Physical therapy homework

Your physical therapist may also give you homework to do that involves hip stretches, breathing exercises, and even pelvic floor stretches using a special tool called a dilator. 

Physical therapy homework for the pelvic floor

Physical therapy for pain with sex in Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland


If you have more questions about pain with intercourse or want to be evaluated by a pelvic floor physical therapist, contact our office!