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Sexual Pain

Your sex life is deeply personal to you. We are happy to help you with your pain, whether you are CIS, Vanilla, Straight, LGBTQIA, sexually active, asexual, a solo practitioner (self stim), poly, or any combination or none of the above.

The bottom line is your preferences and identity should determine the flavor and pleasure of your sex life, not the pain in your body.

Our bodies are meant to experience sex without pain, and we can help you with that.

All genders and identities are happily treated here, and some diagnoses respond better than others. Feel free to inquire. Please see “male conditions” page or gender care page as applicable.

Dyspareunia: Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sex, most typically used for CIS women. I like to think of it as painful intimacy, because people can have many kinds of sex lives, and it can limit any of those, including self pleasure. It usually does not go away by ignoring it, and it can be very isolating and hard to talk about. There can be many components to dyspareunia. Sometimes it is a cutaneous/superficial irritation (see vulvadynia and vulvar vestibulitis above).

When it is due to spasm at the opening of the vagina causing a small opening (which is actually a SMALL percentage of dyspareunia), it is referred to as vaginismus. When the deeper muscles in the vagina or the pelvic floor are tight and painful, it may be referred to as levator ani syndrome.

Patients may report they have had pain since a vaginal birth injury or an episiotomy. Many patients also report pain after a pelvic floor repair or hysterectomy. Similarly, patients who are cancer survivors also have vaginal pain after radiation or hormone therapy.

  • Common patient descriptors are as follows: “It feels like a too tight fit with my partner”, “ It feels like my partner is hitting something”, “I have cramping when I have sex”, I have a tearing sensation when I try to have sex”, “I have burning with sex”, "it feels like period cramps during and after sex, touch is not comfortable, I have pain after external stimulation for orgasm.

  • Regardless of the cause, it is not your fault or something you did wrong. There are many reasons for pain, and there are now many therapy options to heal it. Often very specific manual therapy that goes far more specific than stretching internal pelvic floor muscles can be helpful, as can working small fascial restrictions all around the vulvar or penile.

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