Q&A: Painful Intercourse

My husband and I have been married for 5years and have two boys ages 4 and 1. We have never had a great sex life in the sense of intercourse. We have made do with oral sex for the majority of our marriage. Reason being, sex is painful for me. Still, after 5 years. We’ve tried everything I can think of and still nothing helps. We’ve tried more foreplay, more lubrication, less lubrication, more frequency(sex every day), less frequency (every other day…every week etc…), I’ve asked a dr. and they showed me a muscle I could try to relax, but still that hasn’t helped. I still hurt when we have sex, I have never once enjoyed sex, not in the slightest, it is painful the whole time and I don’t know what else to try.

I should mention that both of my sons were c-sections because my dr. told me my pelvis was too small to deliver them. So I have not had a vaginal birth, which after I got pregnant with my 1st I was hoping that would help my problem with how tight I am.

What else can we do?? I don’t know what the problem is, I’ve tried relaxing, we’ve tried different positions, it’s just so tight and it stings with almost every lubrication we’ve tried, and it feels dry no matter how much lubrication we use.

We invited Lauren Jorden to respond to this question and her response is below.

What you are describing is called Dyspareunia – which means, painful intercourse.  You may also have some involuntary muscle spasms, which can in some cases make intercourse impossible.  When intercourse is impossible, we call that Vaginismus.  There is treatment for this very frustrating problem.  Usually a combination of sex therapy – where you would talk with someone specifically trained to look at any thoughts, feelings or anything traumatic in your past, which could be contributing to the problem.  The other part of treatment would be to work with a Physical Therapist who is specifically trained in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.  In Dallas, the Dallas Center for Women’s Sexual Wellness is a wonderful resource for women who need the Physical Therapy.  It is important to address both the mind and the body part of the problem for the best recovery.  So there is hope!  Unfortunately, some ob/gyns are not familiar with this problem at all, and do not know how to help their patients in this area.

If you don’t live in Dallas, you could still call the Dallas Center to ask for a referral in your area.  Their number is 214-818-5300. Good luck.

Lauren Jordan, LCSW
Certified Sex Therapist

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