Painful Intercourse

Painful intercourse is a common condition that we treat at Bump Physio so, we asked Ale how a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can help! Here is what she had to say.

How do you make a client feel comfortable discussing their intimacy?

Painful intercourse is very COMMON. It is, however, not "normal".

I do my best to make my clients feel comfortable with sharing their story, so I can better understand and treat the whole person. In sharing their story, it allows me to pick out pieces that could be contributing to their pain.

What are your treatment technique(s)?

After doing a subjective history, I complete an objective assessment. Ideally, the objective exam would include an internal vaginal examination. However, if a client is NOT comfortable with an internal assessment, that is 100% OK, and we can discuss other, alternative assessment options including the use of real-time ultrasound and external treatment techniques.

The benefit of a vaginal assessment is direct access to the pelvic floor muscles to figure out the cause of the client’s pain. Sometimes, painful intercourse can be caused by increased tone or "tightness", however, there are other factors such as scar tissue or nervous system factors so a detailed assessment can be really helpful.

How many sessions do you recommend after the first initial treatment?

It is recommended to return biweekly for approximately 4-8 sessions depending on your individualized treatment plan. The timeline varies, as many clients who have this concern may have several other symptoms such as low back pain, SIJ pain, and incontinence to name a few.

What are your tips and tricks?

Always use LUBE. Foreplay is your best friend. Avoid stressful days- muscles are tighter. Take 10 relaxation breaths prior to initiating. Also, know that sex does not have to = penetration. Intimacy is important, and a strong partner connection is key!

The team is here to support you and your goals, if you’d like to chat more, feel free to email myself directly at

Love, Ale

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