I’m going to be very honest in this post, and share with you a part of my life that is extremely sensitive and personal. I’ve decided to finally tell my story because…well, I want to be more vulnerable in 2015 and I hope that my story can help or encourage other women.

My Struggle With Painful sex

I suffer from pelvic floor pain, specifically Vaginismus. It started 6 years ago and I have no idea what caused it, but I believe a part of it had to due with chronic yeast infections growing up.

The first gynecologist I approached about my problems had no idea what I was talking about when I described my symptoms. The second gynecologist I approached, advised me to seek help from a women’s physical therapist. My physical therapist diagnosed me with a slight case of Vulvodynia, but even she wasn’t 100% sure what was wrong. The most frustrating part during all of this was that no one could give me a straight answer. What the hell is wrong with me? What caused this? Is this treatable? I was prescribed dilators for therapy…if you have no idea what these are…well, be thankful. Painful, time consuming, uncomfortable, and the process is simply embarrassing (even though it’s just myself and the dilator).

Since moving to Austin I’ve been to an amazing physical therapist at Sullivan Physical Therapy, which specializes in Women’s health therapy. I used to go monthly, but haven’t been in quite a while. I’m sure you’re wondering what a women’s physical therapist does. My therapist would see me for an hour, and basically aim to relax the muscles in my pelvic floor as well as help stretch the area. Let’s just say it’s way more in your lady business than your annual gynecologist appointment. I have to be extremely vulnerable. It is awkward and uncomfortable, but the relief it brings far outweighs those feelings. Women’s therapy can help bring relief to many women’s conditions.

  • Cesarean, Episiotomy and Scar Pain
  • Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Incontinence – Fecal, Gas and Urine
  • Low back, Sciatica and Tailbone Pain
  • Painful Sex and Menstruation
  • Pre/Post Natal Pain and Weakness
  • Urgency – Bladder and Bowel

I tore during the birth of my son, and the scar tissue that has developed from my stitches is extremely painful during sex. Women’s physical therapy has helped with that as well.

So, how does this affect my marriage and sex life? Well, it is extremely painful to have sex, and it has become more difficult over the years due to childbirth, as well as my pelvic floor muscles tensing up every time I think of sex, or my husband mentions it. It’s hard not to associate sex to pain so when it’s brought up or thought about, I naturally have a horrible feeling because I’m reminded of the pain. This is my life’s biggest struggle. It has caused many fights and many tears. Not being able to have “fun” sex or sex on a whim is extremely sad. My husband has been sensitive to my feelings and caring all these years, but I know it is very hard for him. Thankfully, we do have sex, it’s just not often. Since my body naturally tenses up during sex, which only makes it more painful, we tend to have sex on nights where I have been drinking. Sex is much less painful when I’ve had a few drinks or more, because I naturally relax, therefore making it a more pleasant experience. I might have downed a few tequila shots before going in to the bedroom a time or two ; ).

I often ask God, why do I have this? Why me? It’s a battle I will always face, and there are many times I try to ignore it, but it’s not possible to run from this. This is a short version of my experience, so if you have any questions or would like to share your story please feel free to email me or check out my personal blog. I hope that my story can encourage other women to seek help or at least know that you are not alone if you struggle with painful sex.

Has pregnancy or child birth caused you to have painful sex?


  1. I had vulvodynia for years. Mine started with a yeast infection. In fact, it finally went away and came back again recently after 10 years. I think it is brought on by stress, but a biopsy of the area showed real inflammation (no, the pain was not in my head doctors!). For some reason I hold my anxiety in and that is the part of my body that reacts? I have never really loved sex all that much. It was painful for a long time. But I have also had a life full of trauma, and I guess it had to manifest somehow? I am a bit of a control freak.

    One thing you may want to try to help with muscle tension is one of those simple rubber butterfly vibrators (link below). It does not go internally, rather just sits outside and hits in all the right places. I would suggest trying it out on your own first. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, boy does it ever!

    I have also started taking Zoloft recently for depression. Don’t ask me why, but that really helped my sex drive, and made things get “easier” below.


  2. Me too, sister! We have sex like once a year. I’ve done the therapy and it’s helped. It’s amazing we have a kid!!! I was raped and that’s when my issues started. I have vaginisimus as well from that traumatic experience. My husband is a roooock star. It hasn’t caused fights for us but it does create sad moments. Even more amazing, I have 100% trust in our fidelity. It really bothers me that our culture places so much emphasis on sex and what Hollywood says it should be. That’s bullshit! Marriages can still be soooo beautiful and connected without crazy wild sex. Or even awkward semi missionary sex while I wipe tears from my eyes. Albiet, there are times that I feel like we are more just really good friends than lovers but then I look at him and am so in love with him. It may not be this sexual thing, but he is mine and I am his and we are good. We have made a commitment to be more intimate this year, even if it’s not intercourse. But we’ve actually had sex twice this week!!! Like homegirl- we are talking sex in Oct 2013 and again in April 2014 to twice in one week. Saucy! 😉 When I was really dedicated to my exercises, I did much better so I’m back on the train (we have a 9 mo old so I could have given two hoots for the last while anyway). I WILL fight this and I am not alone….and neither are you. Thank you SO much for sharing! Screw Hollywood and their fabulous one nights stands.

  3. I could have written this story myself. Thank-you so much for sharing so that others can maybe find relief. It took me a long time to find the right doctor who sent me to a physical therapist who helped immensely. It wasn’t until after the birth of my 3rd son and a major tear, some 10 years after my issues began that I started to find relief. My husband is usually very understanding but it’s been tough. I think doctors are just beginning to really understand how the pelvic floor works. I’ve found yoga to also be very helpful to stretch those muscles- squats, twists, and splits are all very helpful! Also for those prone to yeast- strong probiotics and anti-inflammatory foods can work wonders. Your courage to share such a personal story is amazing. Again, thank-you on behalf of those out there still looking for answers!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. I also had painful sex for most of my adult life which I thought was due to my PCOS. After having my first and only child and being in so much pain even attempting I went to my OBGYN at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge. Luckily, Dr. Dickerson (amazing doc by the way) quickly diagnosed my with vaginismus as well and sent me to an awesome woman’s Physical Therapist at Baton Rouge General who after 6-9 months of akward (given the situation, not the PT) sessions once a week and at home use of dialators I can now finally have non-painful sex (most of the time at least). This issue was very embarrassing and unheard of for me and the emotions you described were spot on. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue through sharing your personal story!

  5. Sharing this story will help so many other women going through the same issues. The more light we can shed on the subject the better, so thank you for talking about this and letting women know that there is help out there in the form of physical therapy! Best wishes for you on your journey!

  6. Thank you for this! It definitely something personal and hard to talk about. Mine was due to excess scar tissue growing around my stitches from labor that didn’t heal correctly. I had no idea what was wrong but sex felt like someone scrapping my insides with knives. I thought maybe that was just how it was after having a baby. I reluctantly and nervously talked with my doctor (who thankfully is amazing) and she was able to determine the cause for so much pain. She was able to chemically cauterize the unhealthy tissue and give me pain killers as it healed correctly.


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