At Body and Birth, we have extensive experience treating and educating women about pelvic floor muscle spasm, vaginismus, vestibulodynia (and vulvodynia) and helping you to get back to enjoying sex with your partner again. 



​​ Sex may not be as comfortable as it used to be, either gradually over time or post childbirth. This can range from mild discomfort to sharp burning or stinging sensation, or restriction during intercourse, feeling like there isn't enough space due to your pelvic floor muscles being contracted too tightly. For your partner, vaginismus can feel like 'running into a wall' during penetration. 


There is not always an obvious cause of painful intercourse. In some cases it can be a gradual onset from overactive pelvic floor muscles, a learned response of the nerves muscles due to a painful experience with penetration, after an event such as childbirth while the muscles are recovering, after infections or other medical conditions.


There are several different conditions that can contribute to sex being uncomfortable.   

  • Tightness of the pelvic floor muscles, or increased sensitivity of the nerves (vestibulodynia) in the vaginal area can lead to a feeling of uncomfortable friction, sometimes sharp and stinging pain, and less ease of entry during intercourse.

  • Vaginismus, on the other hand, is the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles in response to attempted penetration (whether it be from a tampon, speculum or penis), and can completely prevent entry. 


If you're feeling any of these symptoms or you're unsure of something, we highly recommend you come see us and get your pelvic floor and core assessed by one of our qualified women's health physios.


Partners Dealing With Vaginismus
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Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help to teach you how to actively contract and relax your muscles. Sometimes gentle muscle release and stretching is required, as well as a graduated home program. This can involve using 'accommodators' to desensitize the vaginal tissues and experience self-controlled penetration, with the aim of returning to full intercourse. We do encourage other non-painful ways of maintaining physical intimacy with your partner and how you can feel more comfortable and confident in your body.


In some cases, talking to a counsellor or therapist to help overcome the distress related to pain or any past difficult memories can be very helpful. 


During your treatment you can expect:


  • Detailed history taking and understanding your current concerns.

  • Education regarding your condition and how the core and pelvic floor muscles work.

  • Alignment and movement assessment.

  • A pelvic exam (external and possibly internal as required and only as you are comfortable).

  • Assessment of abdominal muscles and core function.

  • Hands-on treatment as needed to help achieve optimal hip and pelvic biomechanics.

  • A guided exercise program to help you restore mobility, strength, and function.

  • Strategies and techniques to help you retrain sensation and regain enjoyment from intimacy with your partner.


You'll receive a custom-tailored plan designed to help you achieve your goals, complete with at home exercises that are easy to understand and follow. 


Following your initial assessment, you'll also receive a follow-up communication from your physio to see how you're doing and if you have any questions.




The Whole-Body Approach: At Body and Birth we don't just look at the acute problem, we look at the bigger picture of the whole body for long-term results.


Dedicated: All of our private consults are 60 minutes in length, so you will never feel rushed. 


Convenient: Inner-city location with on-site parking and easy communication via website, email, Facebook, or phone. We also have HICAPS available for immediate health fund benefits.


Trusted: Women come from all corners of Australia to see our experienced physios, who are all AHPRA registered and accredited. 


Bubs Always Welcome: At our studio that feels more like a home than a clinic, you can bring your bub(s). 


Come visit us  today!

Initial Consult $180 | Follow Up $140

Painful Sex - Vaginismus & Vestibulodynia

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