Between the Sheets: Support and Treatment for Painful Intercourse
February is the month of LOVE…..but intimacy can be a real pain for many individuals. Dyspareunia (pain associated with sexual intercourse) is more common than asthma, cancer, and heart disease. It is estimated that 16-20% of all women and 5% of men have had sexual pain at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, this condition is a taboo subject and not talked about, even with a doctor. And when it is discussed….the doctor is likely not experienced in treating sexual pain and subsequently will tell you that it’s “all in your head” or that you just need an attitude adjustment. Those who suffer from sexual pain often feel isolated and confused, and for a variety of reasons keep their pain to themselves. The consequences of maintaining silence about sexual pain include shame, depression, feeling like damaged goods, self-doubt, embarrassment, and withdrawal from relationships. We encourage you to break the silence and would like to offer a few suggestions to get started:
- Pick one person you trust to validate your feelings.
- Talk to your partner, but find someone else too – a friend, relative, or therapist.
- Be willing to stop talking to someone who is not supportive.
- Try to normalize the topic for yourself – although sexual pain is unique….it is common and deserves the same attention as any other painful condition.
- Fight the feeling that you are “defective”.
- Know that you are not alone and there is treatment.
The pelvic health therapists at Colorado in Motion are here to listen. If you suffer from sexual pain and need help, call 970-221-1201 and schedule an appointment with Gina or Beth, our Pelvic Health Specialists.