Treatment of painful sex, a physiotherapy story…


courtesy wackystuff

MA was a 32 year old female who reached out to the PhysioCraft team with complaints of pain in her hip and “very low back” region of about 7 months duration which began just before the birth of her 6 month old baby.

During consultation, she reported that childbirth was per vagina and certain movements like getting up, climbing stairs and getting into the car were also painful. Though her O&G physician had prescribed pain meds, she got only short term relief and was reluctant to take them because she was breastfeeding. She was also trying to shed the pregnancy weight and she was quite unhappy about her body and the effect pregnancy had on her. She had tried registering in the gym but walking on the treadmill and cycling made her pain much worse.

In the course of her examination, she admitted her real concern: sex was very painful. This pain was different from the previous pregnancy she’d had and she wasn’t happy at all.

Her goal was to get relief from the pain, enjoy sex, get her pre-pregnancy body back and return to the active lifestyle which she had before giving birth.

After assessment, the physiotherapist suspected that she had Sacro-Iliac joint dysfunction. A subsequent x-ray showed a pelvic tilt, pubic diastasis (widened gap at the pubic region) and mild femoral anteversion (a shift in the head of the thigh bone at the hip joint). These were explained to her and her treatment plan was also explained. MA was treated using manual therapy, mobilisation and pelvic floor activation exercises. By her sixth session, she felt so much better and couldn’t wait for her husband to return home from a trip…

World over, women are generally uncomfortable about talking about sexual dysfunction issues. The first step though is to ask questions. O& G physicians asking their clients and patients asking the health personnel. Simple questions:

“How has sex been since giving birth?”

“When will down there start feeling normal again? It’s been 6 months since I had the baby”

“Why does urine leak when I laugh, sneeze or cough? is that normal?”

Physiotherapy can help in the treatment of SIJ dysfunction, uterine prolapse,  coccydynia and child birth injury. There are other factors which can cause painful sex some of which are health conditions like endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, psychological issues like stress and history of sexual abuse and birth injury like episiotomy. Sometimes, it may be as simple as vaginal dryness in which case, lubricants can go a long way.

If you have questions, don’t be shy, give us a call on+2348035670888 or +2348171940921. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and direct you to specialists who can help when we can’t.

Finally, though more common in women, pelvic dysfunction occurs in men too. Pick up the phone, call us and ask…

PhysioCraft care centers: Ikoyi, Ikeja, Ajah & Abuja.

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