Dyspareunia, or painful sex, includes pain with insertion or deep penetration during intercourse. About 30% of women experience dyspareunia. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a recommended option for those experiencing this pain.
Hormonal causes of painful sex may include low estrogen, either due to peri or post menopause, your period stopping for another health-related reason, andbreast feeding. Non hormonal related causes include pelvic floor muscle spasms, vestibulodynia, (nerve pain at the opening of the vagina), bladder pain syndrome, or scar tissue due to surgery, endometriosis, or childbirth.
Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to assess your symptoms. Being the evaluation will be internal and external, you and your therapist will work together to ensure your comfort throughout the entire process. If your therapist feels you may need further examination or testing, she will refer you to an MD.
Treatment for dyspareunia, or painful sex, includes both manual and therapeutic exercises to help stretch and release the pelvic floor musculature, and to strengthen your core and surrounding muscles.