Pelvic pain can have many different names – vaginismus, vulvodynia, penile pain, vestibulodynia, dyspareunia, and many others. Pelvic pain usually is linked with sexual activities, but is not limited to them. It can be complicated to treat because many times patients do not seek a solution for this issue for many years.
There are lots of terrible advice around pelvic pain when it happens during intimacy – drink a glass of wine, just use more lubrication, take meds. Sometimes doctors recommend dilators and send patients on their way. There is a LOT more than stretching those muscles to overcome pelvic pain. There are a lot of muscles in the pelvic floor and your therapist should guide you to find the ones that need the most attention. There are also contributing factors outside of your pelvic floor that need to be addressed.
Chronic pelvic pain can be very blurry and confusing for patients. Just know that you are not alone and there is help. Pelvic floor physical therapy should 100% be a part of your care plan.
Pain can also be attached to when having a bowel movement or urinating. Please see the bowel and bladder section here.