You get cleared for all activity at your 6 week check-up. You’ve started working out, are feeling good, finally getting a little bit of sleep (hopefully), and decide it’s time to attempt sex for the first time after delivery. You’re excited, your partner is excited and then...things don’t go as planned. Pain limits your ability to feel enjoyment and you might even have to stop due to the discomfort. That can leave you not only feeling physical pain, but can be hard emotionally as well. If you’ve experienced this, please know there is help!
Pain with sex (dyspareunia) can be superficial or deep, and is not limited to post-partum women (for this blog series, though, I’m focusing on this group). It can be caused by different reasons. Maybe you had tearing and the scar is sensitive or lacking mobility, there could be increased pelvic floor tension, tissue health/dryness may also contribute, sometimes your nervous system may be on high alert causing an increased pain response (that’s another topic I’ll go over in the future). These reasons, plus others, could be contributing to painful sex. My job is to help figure out what is causing your discomfort, and provide you the treatment and tools that can help you enjoy what should be a pleasurable experience!
As I said before, dyspareunia is not just limited to newly, post-partum women. I’ve treated women whose children are in their 20-30s and women who have never had children and helped decrease their pain. Please don’t think you have to live with a painful sex life!
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About the Author
Hi! I’m Michelle Webb, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Webb Physical Therapy.
Since graduating from PT school in 2011, I have worked in many different areas of physical therapy, but it wasn’t until I started working with pelvic health that I found my true passion. I believe that each patient should be treated with a holistic, whole person approach to healing. Every person is unique, and I love helping my patients develop individualized treatment plans to help them achieve their specific goals. Too often, people are told that the pelvic health issues they are feeling (leaking urine/feces, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse/tampon use/speculums, pelvic heaviness, the list goes on and on) are normal, and something they have to deal with. While those issues may be common, I want to help everyone realize there is life outside of their symptoms! I truly feel joy when I can help someone improve their quality of life and return to the activities they love, without difficulty.