3 Little Known Ways to Deal with Painful Sex
Painful sex is one of the most common causes of sexual problems in a relationship. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), nearly 3 in 4 women feel pain during intercourse at some point in their lives.
What comes next is loss of interest in sex, lower self-esteem and conflicts with a partner. But there’s good news too! It’s possible to eliminate or reduce the discomfort and enjoy intimacy again.
Where to start?
So, what do you do when painful sex becomes a problem? The same thing you do when there’s something wrong with your health in general. You go to the doctor, in this case an OB-GYN.
A medical exam is necessary to find the cause and recommend the right treatment. You may have to consult with other specialists, such as a urologist or psychotherapist.
While modern medicine brings great results, there are more ways to support the healing process. They are based on the concept of body awareness.
The idea is very simple –understand your body to feel good in it. Here are the 3 little known ways to deal with painful sex. And you’ll have more pleasure in bed, too, if you start using them!
1 | Fertility awareness
When we think of fertility awareness, we imagine an old-school form of contraception. But there’s so much more to it!
Tracking your cycle can help you make sense of your health and mood. It also offers a quick remedy for women who find sex painful.
How? On certain days of the cycle you have more natural lubrication and orgasm comes easier due to better blood flow.
And, most importantly, your cervix moves up, making penetration more comfortable. The catch? It only works for women who are not on hormonal contraceptives.
Also, if you’ve gone through menopause these cyclical changes won't apply to you.
2 | Vaginal mapping
We all know the benefits of physiotherapy. They help us with sore muscles and back pain.
If you’re open to try something a bit more alternative, consider sexological bodywork. Bodywork is a mix of manual therapy, massage, reflexology and breathwork.
One of the therapies recommended for painful sex is vaginal mapping. A skilled therapist presses on different points inside your vagina to find scars and other painful places.
During a vaginal mapping session, you may discover that some parts are completely numb. You may also have an emotional reaction, such as crying. The bodyworker will suggest practices to help you address the issues revealed.
A word of caution: since alternative therapies are not regulated in most countries, it’s important to find a trusted therapist.
A professional sexological bodyworker will always describe the whole session in detail and ask for your consent before touching your body.
3 | Pelvic floor training
You’ve heard about Kegels, right? That you need to exercise them for better sex and to prevent incontinence?
What you may not realize is that pelvic floor training can help end pain during intercourse. But only if done the correct way. There is so much false information going around.
The best advice is to get an appointment with a certified trainer, preferably with background in physiotherapy. You will be diagnosed, taught how to exercise and what to avoid doing to prevent future problems (think pushing when sitting on a toilet). Moreover, you will learn that relaxing the muscles is as important as strengthening them.
In today’s fitness-obsessed world women are used to doing crunches and tightening their bellies. The key to less painful sex lies, however, in our ability to relax and loosen the tension.
Consistency is key to success
These are just a few supporting options to deal with painful sex. What works best is a mix of traditional medicine and body awareness.
These methods will only work if you are consistent and trust the wisdom of your body. So, follow your doctor’s orders and don’t miss those follow-up visits. Use body awareness techniques to feel more confident and you’ll soon feel pleasure again.