Sexual Pain (Dyspareunia)

It is important to know that sex should not be painful. However, many women experience recurring pain during sexual intercourse after the birth of their baby. If you have never experienced this before it can be very distressing.

Some of the common reasons why you may be experiencing these new symptoms after having a baby could be (please note this is not an extensive list):

  • You had an episiotomy (a short cut at the entrance to the vagina) during the vaginal delivery. Scar tissue may form as a result of this incision or infection.
  • You had tearing of the perineum during the vaginal delivery. Scar tissue may form where the tearing occurred.
  • Breastfeeding can temporarily cause estrogen deficiency. This may result in dryness in the vagina or inadequate lubrication.
  • Fear or anxiety about resuming sexual intercourse may result in tensing or tightening of the pelvic floor muscles during attempted penetration. This may result in pain and may mean penetration is not possible. Pain then results in more bracing and then avoidance of the painful activity, intimacy and possibly even a decrease in sexual desire.
  • You may have a prolapse of one of the pelvic organs which is causing a lump or bulge in one of the vaginal walls. This may result in an obstruction that is painful.
No matter whether the sexual pain has only just started, or has been persisting for a while, a Physiotherapist with training in this area can help you. Firstly, we must determine the reason why you are experiencing sexual pain by conducting a thorough history and assessment. Then we can design a treatment plan individually tailored to you.

General Vulva Care