Painful Intercourse? Try these 5 Exercises to Treat It!
Dr. Pooja Shukla

Dr. Pooja Shukla

May 22Sexual health

Painful Intercourse? Try these 5 Exercises to Treat It!

Dyspareunia is painful intercourse. In this condition, women experience immense pain in their genital or pelvic area during sexual intercourse. The pain may also occur just before the act or persist after it.

The typical symptoms of dyspareunia include:

  • Pain during sexual penetration
  • Pain during thrusting
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain while inserting a tampon
  • Throbbing and stabbing pain, lasting for hours after intercourse

These dyspareunia symptoms are not to be ignored. If this condition is left untreated, it can have harsh physical and emotional repercussions such as:

  • Inflammation and tearing of the vaginal tissues
  • Anxiety to have sex due to the pain
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Emotional distress

All of this can negatively impact your love life. You may have frequent interpersonal conflicts with your partner. Hence, it is crucial to timely treat dyspareunia. Treatments will depend on the cause of your pain. It could include lifestyle changes, home remedies and medications. But, exercising can have long-term benefits for all - irrespective of the reasons behind the genital and pelvic pain.

How can exercising help? 

Exercises targeted at strengthening the core and pelvic muscles help relieve the pain. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improve blood circulation in the region, increase the tone of the flaccid muscles, and relax spasmed muscles.

Dyspareunia

5 exercises for dyspareunia treatment

Practice the below-given exercises to attain relief from the existing pain and strengthen your muscles to prevent pain in the future.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Performing diaphragmatic breathing helps to stretch the pelvic floor. You can also do it during sex to decrease the pain and induce relaxation.

Steps to do it:

  • Lie down on a flat surface. Keep a pillow under your head and another under the knees.
  • Place one hand on your stomach, just beneath the rib cage.
  • Then, take a slow deep breath in through the nose. Your stomach should push upward against the hand while the chest remains still.
  • After that, exhale through pursed lips. This time, tighten the abdominal muscles as your stomach falls downward. Your chest will remain still.

Reps: Practice this twice a day for 5 mins.

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. It can be hard to identify the right muscles, so here is a tip to do it. While you are urinating, stop it midway or imagine doing it. In this, your pelvic floor muscles get engaged.

Steps to do it:

  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Then release and relax them for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this contraction and relaxation 10 times. Gradually, you can also increase the hold counts.

Reps: 10 reps, 3 times a day.

Bridging

Forming a bridge engages the glutes, hamstrings as well as activates the pelvic floor muscles in the process, along with many other benefits.

Steps to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Keep your arms straight on either side with the palms facing down.
  • Take a deep breath in and raise your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes, hamstring and pelvic floor. Your body would be resting on your upper back, shoulders and heels.
  • Hold that position for 1-2 seconds, and return to the start position while exhaling.

Reps: 10-15 reps, 2 sets; 30 secs rest between the sets.

Split tabletop

Tabletop is a leg move that acts as the foundation of many moves in pilates. The split tabletop activates the hips and the pelvic floor.

Steps to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees such that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your shins are parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your legs together. Your abs should be firm and your inner thighs activated.
  • Slowly split your legs sideways; each knee should fall outward.
  • Then, slowly come back to the original position and then repeat.

Reps: 10-15 reps, 2 sets

Child's pose

The child’s pose is an excellent stretch for the pelvic floor muscles.

Steps to do it:

  • Sit on the floor on your knees.
  • Push your knees apart while keeping your toes together.
  • Keep your back straight, then slowly bring your head toward the floor. If you find this hard, you can extend your forearms and keep them on the floor, with your head resting between them.
  • Once you are comfortable, start taking deep and slow breaths. After staying in this position for 30 seconds, come back to the original position.

Reps: 3 reps

When should you see a doctor?

If the pain persists even after regular exercise and home remedies, consult a doctor. The pain could be caused due to an underlying infection. In this case, they will prescribe you antibiotics, antifungal medicines, topical or injectable corticosteroids. The other symptoms to not ignore include itching, burning or frequent need to urinate. Click here to know more about our vaginismus program.

Bottom line

Painful intercourse can be distressing, both physically and emotionally. It can cause a rift between you and your partner, thus affecting your relationship with them. Hence, communicate about it with your partner to make them understand what you are going through. Seek an expert’s help to identify the cause and chart out an appropriate treatment plan for you. Counselling or sex therapy can also help in dealing with the situation. Along with that, it is crucial to perform these exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These are simple exercises and, if done daily, can prove immensely beneficial for your condition.



Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.

Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.