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Intercourse Pain

We Treat Recurring Intercourse Pain (Dyspareunia) Naturally

Tiny but powerful adhesions can form on the inner vaginal walls, causing pain at the entrance, or more deeply when the walls are rubbed by a partner. When we clear these adhesions, pleasure returns. Without these internal bonds, intercourse feels good again.

Tiny but powerful adhesions can form on the inner vaginal walls, causing pain at the entrance, or more deeply when the walls are rubbed by a partner. When we clear these adhesions, pleasure returns. Without these internal bonds, intercourse feels good again.

 

Intercourse Pain

Tiny but powerful adhesions can form on the inner vaginal walls, causing pain at the entrance, or more deeply when the walls are rubbed by a partner. When we clear these adhesions, pleasure returns. Without these internal bonds, intercourse feels good again.

Clear Passage is a recognized leader with over two decades of experience treating painful intercourse. Studies and citations published in peer-reviewed U.S. and international medical journals found that this physio/physical therapy decreased intercourse pain and increased every aspect of female sexual function, without surgery or drugs. Complete the online Request Consultation form to receive a free phone consultation with a therapist and learn more.

dyspareunia and intercourse pain e-book

Intercourse Pain (Dyspareunia) Overview

Overcoming intercourse pain. Reclaiming desire and orgasm.

Click to watch video.

Sixty percent of women in the U.S. report pain with intercourse (also called dyspareunia) at some point in their lives. (Heim, 2001) Intercourse pain that recurs or worsens over time is called chronic dyspareunia, a condition that can disrupt a woman’s relationship with her partner and cause moderate to debilitating pain at a time when most women experience great pleasure.

For many women, the search for a cure becomes a frustrating and unproductive journey of referrals from one doctor to another (gynecologist, urologist, pain specialist). Adding to the frustration, many are told to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist because the pain “must be in your head.” But their pain persists because it actually occurs in the vagina, precisely where they feel it. As a result, we find that telling a patient that intercourse pain is “all in your head” is generally inaccurate and disempowering.

Pain at the Vaginal Entrance

Adhesions act like straight-jackets, attaching to the vaginal wall or entrance or other pain-sensitive structures. Robbed of their usual elasticity, the adhered tissues cause pain instead of the pleasure that should come from intercourse.

Adhesions act like straight-jackets, attaching to the vaginal wall or entrance or other pain-sensitive structures. Robbed of their usual elasticity, the adhered tissues cause pain instead of the pleasure that should come from intercourse.

When the body heals from an infection, trauma or surgery, it forms tiny but powerful collagen cross-links–the building blocks of adhesions. These tiny internal scars act like straight-jackets, attaching to the vaginal wall or entrance or other pain-sensitive structures. Robbed of their usual elasticity, the adhered tissues cause pain when a finger, penis or other device enters ̶ instead of the pleasure that should come from intercourse.

Pain With Deep Penetration

Tiny adhesions that form at the tailbone (coccyx) after a fall can pull that structure forward, causing pain when a woman’s partner hits that structure during deep penetration. Adhesions can also form between muscle cells deep within the cervix, causing a similar deep pain during sexual intercourse.

Adhesions form in response to any of the infections, inflammations, surgeries or traumas to which the female reproductive tract is subjected. Conditions that cause these adhesions include:

  • Trauma to the tailbone, pelvis or nearby structures (hip, low back, etc.) such as a fall or sports injuries (e.g. a cheerleading, skating, horseback riding or bicycle injury)
  • Endometriosis
  • Bladder or vaginal infection or inflammation
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Intercourse when not fully lubricated
  • Surgery (e.g. abortion, episiotomy, C-section, hysterectomy, female circumcision)
  • Vaginismus (a spasm of the muscles around the opening of the vagina)

Treatment for Intercourse Pain (Dyspareunia) (Wurn Technique)

In the hundreds of women we have treated for dyspareunia pain, we usually find that tiny adhesions, or internal scars, are the direct cause or significantly contribute to their pain. Physicians often overlook these small, sometimes microscopic structures for several reasons. Adhesions can be so small that they are difficult or impossible to view, even using advanced medical imaging such as CT, MRI, ultrasound or X-ray. In addition, adhesions are nearly impossible for doctors to treat when they form within the delicate tissues of the vagina.

Adhesions at the cervix (shown above) or tailbone can cause pain with deep penetration. Women tell us “it feels like my partner is hitting something,” and he is. Once we clear these small but powerful bonds, the tissues return to normal, pain-free structure and sex feels good again.

Adhesions at the cervix (shown above) or tailbone can cause pain with deep penetration. Women tell us “it feels like my partner is hitting something,” and he is. Once we clear these small but powerful bonds, the tissues return to normal, pain-free structure and sex feels good again.

Our therapists use their hands and a protocol of over 200 manual techniques to detach pelvic and vaginal adhesions, often reducing or eliminating dyspareunia pain permanently. We always work well within the patient’s tolerance level and the patient is always in control of the pressure we use at each moment during therapy. Most of our therapy is external, as we treat the legs, hips, and other structures that attach to the areas of pain. If we treat internally, we use a gloved hand and work slowly and gently. All therapy is performed with respect and dignity in a private treatment room, following established guidelines for draping and the presence of chaperones. The patient always has the choice to refuse internal therapy.

We direct therapy to the areas that are causing symptoms. For some women, pain may occur at first penetration as a sharp and specific pain in one or more locations at or near the opening of the vagina. Others experience pain with deep penetration. They generally describe a broader, deeper pain  ̶  as if “… my partner is hitting something.” Some women experience pain in both areas.

Women who bring their partner along to therapy are able to test their progress during the week. This feedback can help us determine which areas are being relieved and which areas still need attention during upcoming treatment sessions.

Some women absorb repetitive traumas and stresses to the pelvis without experiencing symptoms or negative side effects. But some women experience significant, long-lasting symptoms, as tiny but powerful adhesive fibers rob their bodies of the easy mobility and extensibility of normal tissues. Bound by adhesions, they may also experience other symptoms, such as anorgasmia (inability or difficulty reaching orgasm) and decreased desire or lubrication. When we treat the vaginal tissues, these symptoms generally resolve or improve dramatically. Our work addresses all of these conditions, with positive results generally lasting years or a lifetime.

Published Research

<empty>After surgery such as laparoscopy or C-section, adhesions can form on and within reproductive structures, causing pain or infertility. Once we clear these adhesions, tissues can function more normally – and generally without pain.

After surgery such as laparoscopy or C-section, adhesions can form on and within reproductive structures, causing pain or infertility. Once we clear these adhesions, tissues can function more normally – and generally without pain.

Patients often report profound changes after receiving our hands-on, non-surgical therapy for painful intercourse.

Our therapists decrease pain, increase sexual function and restore the pleasure of intimacy and intercourse for most of the women we treat for pain or dysfunction. In doing so, we enrich their lives and those of their partners. We are one of the only therapy groups to have treated a large enough population that we can report our results in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Our first sexual function study was published in Medscape General Medicine (Wurn et al., 2004b), a highly respected international medical journal owned by WebMD. In that study, our work decreased or eliminated intercourse pain in 96% of the participants. These published results represent one of our highest success rates among all of the conditions we treat. That same study reported improvements in every domain of sexual function for participants, including desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm.

Subsequent study findings published in the Journal of Endometriosis investigated the decrease of painful intercourse in our patients with endometriosis.

 

Patients who reported intercourse pain improvement after treatment

In addition to eliminating intercourse pain, our therapy significantly increased orgasm and sexual function in our sexual function study participants (Wurn et al., 2011), as noted below:

  • 64% reported increased intensity and duration of orgasm
  • 71% reported increased desire (libido)
  • 86% reported increased arousal
  • 79% reported increased lubrication
  • 71% reported increased satisfaction
  • 94% reported decreased intercourse pain
  • 93% reported improved overall sexual function

Other Treatments for Intercourse Pain (Dyspareunia)

Intercourse pain is an area that often confounds physicians and their patients. The tiny adhesions that we have found to be the cause of pain are microscopic and do not appear in diagnostic tests. In addition, the delicate tissues of the vagina are not generally amenable to surgery, which itself can cause more adhesions. As a result, many gynecologists prescribe palliatives and pain relievers for patients who experience pain during or after sex. Typical gynecologic recommendations would be (in this order):

  1. Increase foreplay;
  2. Use more lubrication;
  3. If the above does not help, the doctor may prescribe either analgesics (pain relievers) or desensitizing gel (so the patient feels less pain). As a result, the patient is numbed to pain – and to pleasure;
  4. If the patient still has complaints of dyspareunia pain, she is generally referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist to help her deal with the pain issues. In some cases, the physician feels the pain is “all in the patient’s head.”


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