Painful Intercourse

What it is

Also known as Dyspareunia, pain associated with intercourse can be experienced during penetration, with thrusting (or both), or can be felt after intercourse. Causes include muscle-related issues with the pelvic floor muscles, as well as connective-tissue related issues. In addition, nerve irritation and episiotomy-related issues can be at the root of painful intercourse.


Penetration pain described as very sharp with burning, ripping or tearing sensations. Thrusting pain can be sharp, dull, or achy – or sometimes like putting pressure on a tender bruise. Pain after intercourse can be intense aching or soreness, sometimes with severe burning and occasional sharp stabs of pain.


Pelvic Physical Therapy treatment for painful intercourse may vary, and can include specific exercises and stretches, trigger-point release techniques, or the use of modalities.