Pain during sex, isn’t that normal?

“Painful sex. That’s normal, right?”

“Doesn’t it hurt for other people too?”

“I can’t be the only one.” 

“It will go away on its own.” 

“I’ve lived with it for this long – I’ll just get through it.”

“Who actually helps with this kind of stuff anyway?”

What Are The Causes of Painful Sex? What can cause pain during sex?

Have you found yourself saying or thinking any of the above? If so, I want you to know that sex does not have to be painful…EVER. 

I know this topic is sometimes considered “taboo” and shied away from during conversations, but in reality, sex is an important aspect of relationships, aging, and life. Although it may not be as easy to talk about, sex is just as significant as any other activity in which you experience pain, and the takeaway is the same: if there is pain, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. 

If you were to be doing push-ups and experienced pain in your shoulder, you probably would not think twice about getting help for it. However when it comes to something that is so personal, it is understandable that you would be hesitant about what to do or unsure if there is even help for it! Let me try to explain why you may be having pain and your options.


Dyspareunia is what can cause pain during sex. dyspareunia. Dyspareunia is usually caused by tightness throughout the pelvic floor muscles. You may be thinking – wait, there are muscles down there? Actually, yes – quite a few! The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that run like a hammock to support the bottom of the pelvis.  When one or more of those muscles is too tight, it can cause significant pain and in some cases can radiate pain to the hip, low back, the front of the pelvis or abdomen, particularly during sex.

What causes dyspareunia? There are many different factors that can contribute to dyspareunia. Some include pelvic floor muscle spasms, endometriosis, childbirth, and/or trauma to the area.

Whether the pain is minimal, dissipates after initial penetration, or gets worse throughout intercourse, just remember: sex does not have to be painful at all…

So now what? Who helps with this problem?

A pelvic floor physical therapist! ← 

You may be wondering why another medical professional, such as a gynecologist, has not “seen” or “felt” a problem with your pelvic floor muscles. Gynecologists focus more on diagnosis and treatment of reproductive organs and systems as opposed to the muscles. They may certainly pick up on a pelvic floor dysfunction and in that case would likely refer you to a pelvic floor therapist, but it is the MAIN job of a pelvic therapist to focus on the function of the pelvic floor muscles.

From the very first session, my goal is to determine the root cause of the problem and to work from there. I will look at your alignment, posture, and check the external muscles (such as the hip muscles) for tone and strength.

Dyspareunia treatment can consist of external and internal exercises

The next step is to assess the internal muscles of the pelvis. The assessment is simple, but comprehensive. I gently palpate each of the muscles to get an understanding of tone and strength to see where the issue lies.  Dyspareunia treatment consists of external and internal exercises, which I will review and discuss during your 1st treatment.

I know it may sound different than any other physical therapy you’ve heard of and could sound intimidating at first, but let me reassure you – this is what I do, and I have helped many women find their way to having pain free intercourse! 

If any of this resonates with you or you’re curious, please reach out. You could be just a phone call away from a more enjoyable and pleasurable life. Drop us a message here or call 201-773-8851 to get started today.