While Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is growing in popularity — It's shocking how many are not aware that there are medical professionals able to help you with well… some of life’s more intimate hardships.
Maybe you’re already in the know but, pelvic floor health drastically impacts sexual function. And honestly, there are so many reasons why we as a culture might be more prone to stay quiet and not express pain or concerns when it comes to sex.
Whether it's the way we were raised or underlying insecurities — we want to break the ice with you because pain isn't solved in silence.
Sexual function is an important part of adult life. And experiencing sexual dysfunction at some point in your life is really common.
How common you ask? This data only scratches the surface but one study showed that 43% of women and 31% of men report some form of sexual dysfunction. (SITE)
A wide range of factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction. Many of those fall far outside of the scope of the pelvic floor and we encourage you to speak to your primary doctor about any sexual dysfunction you are experiencing.
But for today we will explore how the pelvic floor plays a vital role in a healthy sex life and what symptoms of sexual dysfunction may stem from your pelvic health.
What is Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual Dysfunction can present differently for women and men. But any gender can experience
Pain with intercourse
Lack of interest in sex
Inability to become aroused1
More specifically women may have difficulties…
Achieving an orgasm
Producing vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse
Relaxing the vaginal muscles to allow intercourse to occur without pain1
Men on the other hand may struggle with…
Achieving or maintaining an erection (Erectile Dysfunction)
Absent or delayed ejaculation
Controlling the timing of ejaculation1
This list is not exhaustive but these are some of the most common concerns our patients express. We want you to know — You are not alone! And we’re so glad you’re taking the opportunity to learn more about your sexual health as it relates to your pelvic floor.
Let’s take a deeper look into the connection between sexual and pelvic function.
Does My Pelvic Floor Health Affect My Sex Life?
The short answer is yes. But the why can be a bit more tricky to uncover.
A common misconception in our culture is the belief that the pelvic floor is weak and just needs to get stronger and everything will be better. Right?...
Sometimes weak pelvic floors can cause issues. If the muscles are weakened or injured you might experience less sensation with sexual activity and difficulty achieving an orgasm. For men, usually a weak pelvic floor can cause difficulty in maintaining an erection.
However, the lesser-known and frequently misdiagnosed culprit causing pelvic floor dysfunction is over-activated muscles. The pelvic floor can become hypertonic making penetrative sex painful and not enjoyable.
Sadly, our culture of silence regarding sexual health puts many individuals into the mindset that sex hurts and there’s no getting around that.
We want to debunk that right now. If you only have one takeaway from this blog hear this…
Sex should NOT be painful.
Pain is your body's communication method. Ongoing pain, a sense of burning, or excessively uncomfortable pressure during intercourse is a sign that something is not right.2
The Emotional and Mental Side of Sexual Health
Sexual health can be complicated. We encourage you to do your research and talk to a doctor to consider a variety of resources available to you. Your brain, psychology, and past experiences play a major role in sexual health.
Your healing may involve more than just pelvic floor rehab — hormonal health testing, mental health counseling, and sex counseling can be beneficial for well-rounded treatment.
But rest assured, we’re on your side throughout this journey!
Can A Pelvic Floor Therapist Help with Sexual Dysfunction?
In many cases, Yes!
Your pelvic floor physical therapist can evaluate your body and determine if you are experiencing issues that could affect your sexual function.
Here at Peak Pelvic Health, we value education. We want you to feel confident in your knowledge of how your pelvic muscles work together and what it feels like to contract and relax them.
Our doctors provide hands-on therapy to help you activate your muscles and retrain the brain to release tension in hypertonic areas. These one-on-one sessions develop coordination within your core, diaphragm, and pelvic muscles.
Sexual function has many variables but we hold space for these intimate conversations and reserve all judgment.
We never downplay your pain. Our goal is to empower your healing with knowledge and researched-backed therapeutic methods for your overall pelvic floor health and sexual function.
Take a deep breath. We’re here to serve you when you’re ready. Click Here to Book a FREE Phone Consultation with a Doctor who cares.