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TRANSCRIPT: Overcoming Intercourse Pain: Reclaiming  Desire and Orgasm

This is what sex is supposed to feel like. This r­­ocks.  We can do this again. I had an orgasm for the first time in years. That sounds weird probably for some people, but for people who have dealt with chronic pelvic pain, not having orgasms goes along with it. To know that it came back and to feel that — that was pretty awesome. Hi,  I am a physical therapist. I came to Clear Passage to receive treatment for my own pain. As a physical therapist , I know it is hard for other people to believe that us therapists have pain as well and dealwith pain issues ourselves. So, for many years I went on experiencing discomfort, pain and a lack in desire, and my libido went down.

I felt really guilty for not wanting to have intimacy with my husband, and that continued to grow as I did not have anybody to speak to about this condition. It’s something so private; women who are dealing with pelvic pain and pain with intercourse don’t have anybody to talk to. It was hard.  It was really painful.  It felt like ripping through tissue. It felt like your muscles just bind down. It feels like a hot poker, a jolting pain with movement and thrusting  that  I know is not normal.  It would cause my whole body to tense up. I would not be able to breathe.  I couldn’t relax. It was just not pleasant.  It was emotionally stressful, as well as physically stressful because you want to be intimate, and you want to be present, but the pain is really blocking it.  So, you are just not into it. You’re not into sex. There is an embarrassing factor in talking about painful intercourse. What is portrayed in the media is that it is wonderfully orgasmic every time you have sex, and that is not reality. The reality is that sex is not always like that, and it is definitely not like that for women who have pain with intercourse.

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My doctor thought “OK you have pain with intercourse so let’s do an ultrasounds to make sure there is nothing wrong with you. Let’s do some sonograms and let’s test you. Nope, everything is normal.”. So they look at me like it’s in my head. Why would you have pain with intercourse if all your tests come back normal, and you look healthy and feel fine. So where do I go from here? In the middle of treatment, my husband came to visit so he could assess my progress and how I felt with intercourse.

This was only two days after treatment. First of all, I had a desire to want to be with my spouse. The desire had really subsided and decreased over the years. When you think of how painful sex is, your body shuts down and your desire goes away.  So just the fact that the desire to want to be with my spouse was there, and physically I had more sensation.  I had a lot more sensation in my pelvic area. I was able to respond to touch stimuli.  Just what naturally happens during intercourse. You get excited. I was able to feel that excitement again and the urge to want o be intimate was huge. I had a lot more room in my pelvic floor,  even during the actual thrusting motion.  Before, it was like a jack knife every time my husband would thrust; I would hold my breath and tense up.  It wasn’t him, and instantly it would also affect my spouse, and he would hold back and say “Oh no, I am hurting you.”

This time around it was just like “Holy cow! This is what sex is supposed to feel like. This r­­ocks! We can do this again.” I had an orgasm for the first time in years. That sounds weird probably for some people, but for people who have dealt with chronic pelvic pain, not having orgasms goes along with it. To know that that came back and to feel that, that was pretty awesome.