Trying to conceive? But oh my, sex is so painful.

Pain affects us in many ways. For some it may be headaches or lower back pain, for others; wrist or foot pain and for some it is pain in their vagina, vulva (in particular vestibule), or both and it’s associated with sex. If you are trying to conceive, this can be a major hurdle.

Let me introduce you to ‘dyspareunia’. Dyspareunia is a blanket term for painful sex. Did you know that it is estimated that almost 3 out of 4 women experience pain during intercourse at some point during their life? This pain is commonly put into two categories; introdial (the entrance) dyspareunia and deep dyspareunia, experienced more with deep penetration.

So what does this have to do with The Fertile Project?

I’m so glad you asked, let me explain.

At The Fertile Project, we have a passion for treating women and assisting with women’s health concerns and a big part of that is helping families get pregnant, for some the aim is natural conception for others it’s IVF and/or DIVF. Regardless of your health concerns our goal is to create a safe and supportive space in which our patients feel comfortable to discuss sensitive issues such as dyspareunia.

The reality is, pain during intercourse can affect anyone with a vagina, and if you are trying to make a baby naturally; the sex part is pretty damn important . No arguments on that one I’m sure. For some, the pain is present from the very first attempt at intercourse, for others it may arise after; a physical trauma to the pelvis, an emotional trauma, pregnancy, hormonal changes associated with menopause or childbirth, the oral contraceptive pill and for others it’s associated with endometriosis, bladder pain syndrome or coccyx pain. So, as you can see, it can be quite a common issue amongst women.

Treatment varies and may or may not include; internal and external pelvic floor myofascial release work (The Fertile Project, has an osteopath specially trained in this area, Kathryn is one of only a handful of osteopaths qualified in Australia in the area of internal pelvic floor treatment), stress management, assistance with breathing mechanics, posture or alignment. Other treatments include; hormonal treatment (great news TFP has acupuncturists and naturopaths to assist with this!!) positive sleep hygiene, specific therapy to cesarean and perineal scarring, advice on sexual positions, specific movement practices, use of breathing and pelvic floor relaxation techniques and if necessary the use of dilators and wands.

At The Fertile Project, we want our patients to experience intercourse pain free, so they are able to truly express themselves sexually, without hesitation and yes it can help with making a baby (if that is your desire – maybe sex for you is purely about intimacy). If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or just need to chat about your pelvic health please book an appointment to see Kathryn!

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