Breaking the Silence: Addressing Trauma’s Impact on Your Sex Life

**Trigger Warning: post mentions sexual trauma, birthing trauma, and medical trauma***

How Various Forms of Trauma Can Affect Your Sex Life

When we think about sex, our brains and bodies do not just reflect on the first time or the last sexual experience we’ve had, but rather every encounter surrounding these parts of our body. Our context for sex/intimacy changes as we experience more in life, like pregnancy, surgeries, stressful events, and even secondary stress from others around us. The brain is constantly taking in feedback from these experiences and using it to keep our body safe from harm. 

Let’s break this down into some examples: 

Sex after Childbirth:

Some patients report pain, decreased libido, and/or not enjoying sex the way they did before giving birth. These issues can stem from feeling really out of control during your birthing experience, if you had to deviate from your birthing plan, or felt that the medical staff did not include you in the decision making for your birth. This can lead to feeling like your body is not under your control. If you had to have a C- section unexpectedly, this is a major surgery and our body wants to protect both the abdomen and the surrounding areas, leading to decreased desire to be touched or engage in intimacy after it’s healed. 

There’s also cases of true physiological change after childbirth. Perhaps you had some tearing and the area inside the vaginal opening is hypersensitive or tender well past the 6 week check in mark. Our body may naturally want to protect this area and therefore decrease the desire to move forward with intimacy. 


Sex after Medical Procedures

After procedures such as an ablation, hysterectomy, LEEP, dilation and curettage (D&C) our body can hold onto the tension and fear from surgeries. While restrictions will be different for everyone. Our body holds the story of not only the procedure and the discomfort from healing, but also the pain from before the surgery. Oftentimes women will view that area of the body as strictly a source for medical intervention and not for pleasure or intimacy. 

How Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Help

Pelvic floor therapy helps women throughout all phases of life achieve their sexual health goals. If you believe you have experienced trauma, it is always a good idea to seek out specialized counseling. Pelvic floor therapists help to empower and educate women about their bodies and how to enhance their self awareness. We utilize manual therapy to note restrictions in the tissue not just around the vulva and pelvic floor, but also in the glutes, abdomen, hips, and even into the neck muscles! Our body functions as a unit, not in isolation. Pelvic floor therapists are able to provide individualized stretches, nervous system regulation exercises, desensitization techniques to help you reach your sexual wellness goals. 

We offer:

  • Free Pelvic Floor Screens
  • 1:1 visits
  • Trauma Informed Care in a Relaxing Environment
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling

Learn more about our services

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Written by Dr. Bria Stark

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