. . .

Painful Sex


Pauline Ryeland – Intimacy Whisperer and Somatic Sexological Body Worker

Let’s face it if you are experiencing any sort of chronic pain, the last thing you want is sex.  When you are experiencing chronic pain, intimacy tends to disappear due to how you feel in your body and can leave you feeling anxious and stressed.

There can be many types of chronic pain, however I want to focus on painful sex which no woman should be experiencing. When pain is experienced it most definitely effects your sexuality.

Any pain should be checked out by a doctor, however internal pain can often be unresolved and this can cause an enormous amount of stress on the woman and on her relationship.

Some pain women can experience pain is due to:

  • Childbirth; tears on the perenium or vaginal wall, c-sections
  • Miscarriages
  • Abortions
  • Painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic floor pain
  • Lower back, coccyx
  • Vaginismux
  • Vulvodynia
  • Menopause
  • UTI’s
  • Hysterectomies
  • Ectopic pregnancies
  • Endometriosis
  • Surgeries

Sexological Body Workers are trained to work with women who are experiencing pain that is unresolved and can be occurring due to any of these problems.  Working internally and externally, organic castor oil is used to break down the scar tissue and internal adhesions that have formed.

Scar adhesions are caused from injuries or scars and are like octopus’ tendrils.  They travel from the site of the injury through tissue and muscle and attach to fascia, tendons, ligaments, organs and joints, which results in pain.

The benefits include:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Genital numbness gone
  • No more pain
  • Scar’s appearance changes

Once these problems are addressed and the pain subsides or goes completely, then it’s possible to start getting in touch with your sexuality and re-connecting with your inner sexiness.

Pauline RyelandPauline Ryland is an Intimacy Whisperer and a certified Somatic Sexological Body Worker, Tantra Teacher and Facilitator, and a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Plus, she’s also an Advanced Subconscious Reprogramming and Errikson Hypnotherapist, as well as a Results Coach & Performance Consultant.

Pauline sees men, women, singles or couples who are experiencing challenges in any areas to do with intimacy and sex, along with relationships and everything in between. She has been working as an Intimacy and Sex Coach, and a Sexual Educator for approximately 5-years.

Pauline Ryeland Logo

Dr Janet Hall – Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist, Author and Professional Speaker

Painful sex (Dyspareunia) refers to pain in the pelvic area during or after sexual intercourse.

What Causes Painful Sex for Women?

Primary Causes: It is believed that dyspareunia is caused by physical factors at least 75% of the time. Psychological factors are often associated with previous sexual trauma (rape or abuse), feelings of guilt, or negative attitudes toward sex.

Secondary Causes: Psychological upset may develop as a reaction to the pain or to negative self-assessment or fear of future pain.

Physical Causes of Painful Sex

Physical causes in women are unfortunately many and include vaginitis (vaginal infections), endometriosis, cystitis or urethritis, back or pelvis problems, retroversion of the uterus, and chronic constipation, premature lovemaking following surgery (episiotomy) or child birth, haemorrhoids, genitourinary tract infections (such as a bladder infection), thrush and herpes sores.

Lack of lubrication

Pain that occurs initially at vaginal entry but decreases over time is commonly caused by inadequate lubrication. This is frequently due to a lack of sexual arousal and effective stimulation. Women at risk for dyspareunia include those who are on medications that produce a general drying effect on body secretions (like antihistamines) and those who are postmenopausal (and have vaginal dryness due to low oestrogen level).

Physical Solutions for Painful Sex

Some physical solutions can be straightforward and immediately helpful in avoiding pain in sex.

  • Good hygiene and routine medical care will help to some degree.
  • Adequate foreplay and stimulation will help to ensure proper lubrication of the vagina. The use of a water-soluble lubricant like K-Y Jelly may also help. Vaseline should not be used as a sexual lubricant since it is not water-soluble and may encourage vaginal infections.
  • For painful intercourse in women after pregnancy, gentleness and patience should be exercised. Wait at least 6 weeks before resuming sexual relations after childbirth.
  • For painful intercourse caused by thrush and endometriosis, medications are available.
  • For painful intercourse in menopausal women, use lubricants and oestrogen-containing creams or medications as prescribed.

Difficulties with Diagnosis and Treatment: A Painful Problem with Painful Sex

Painful sex resulted in unnecessary psychological trauma for many women because it was not diagnosed or treated appropriately.

The nature of treatment depends on the cause of the pain.

Questions to ask include:

  • When did it develop?
  • Is intercourse painful every time that it is attempted?
  • Has intercourse always been painful?
  • Is it painful for your spouse, also?
  • Does the pain occur during entry?
  • Specifically, where is the pain? (labia, vagina, entire pelvic area etc.)
  • What have you done to try to make intercourse less painful?
  • How well has it worked?  What other symptoms are present?

Physical Treatment is the first step in solving sexual pain.

Psychological Treatment is often also necessary because the pain has caused fear due to anticipating future pain and failure.

 The Solution

Molly needed a combination Psychological assistance which included hypnosis for the emotional upset and of –

  1. anticipation anxiety.
  2. The three stage program of solo-sex, partner sex without penetration and partner sex with penetration.
  3. Physical help from herbal remedies prescribed by a Naturopath.

After six months, Molly had resumed regular sex with no infections.

Janet HallDr Janet Hall is a Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist, Author and Professional Speaker in Melbourne, Australia. She manages the Richmond Hill Psychology Clinic.

As a psychologist in private practice, Dr Jan specializes in relationship therapy, particularly sex therapy. She is also the author of eight books on family and relationship issues including, “Sex-Wise Teens” and “Sex-life Solutions”.

Dr Jan has created and produced the “Sensational Sex” audio and e-book series – nineteen topics on sexual issues ranging from sex therapy with hypnosis,
to sexual fantasies and strategies for “sparking up” your sex-life.

“A healthy sex life is the right of everyone,” says Dr Jan and she can help you with any sexual issue; from young couples and individuals learning about sex, intimacy, and relationships, right through to helping older individuals and established couples to enjoy the sensational sex that they deserve.

Dr Jan is a well-known and respected public speaker and a favourite with national media for comment on a diverse range of issues. She was the regular sex therapist on Channel 10 for the Sex-Life television program.

Lisa Hughes – Qualified Counsellor and NLP Master Practitioner

Chronic pain can have a profound impact on so many areas of your life and of course sexuality is one of them.

Pain can sometimes take over to the point where a person can’t think about anything else let alone sex. The way you feel about your sexuality can compound the pain even more. When people don’t feel well on a constant basis, after a while the person in pain can forget to even think about the needs of their partner and become consumed with their pain experience.

People need physical and emotional intimacy almost as much as they need food and shelter. Sexuality helps fulfil the vital need for human connection. It’s a natural and healthy part of living, as well as an important aspect of your identity as a person. But when chronic pain invades your life, the pleasures of sexuality often disappear. Here’s help on how to reconnect with your sexuality in spite of the chronic pain.


Being able to talk to your doctor openly about your chronic pain and the impact it is having on your sexuality is important. Medication can play havoc on your hormones which will impact your emotional state and libido.  Explore ways to incorporate traditional and natural medicines that help with pain management.


Feeling good about yourself is a daily practice for everyone, whether living with chronic pain or not. Start paying attention to your emotions. Look at where your mind goes when you start to feel the pain and whether your self-esteem is being eroded too. It may be that you have created a neural pathway that associates physical pain with feeling unattractive or undesirable. A practice I share with my clients is to mentally KUNG FU any thoughts that take them down a path of feeling unworthy or unattractive and replace them with love and acceptance.


Getting creative with intimacy can be fun and can actually make you feel better. Self-stimulation can have a therapeutic effect on how you view your body for pleasure. The body’s natural painkillers, called endorphins, are released during touch and sex. And the closeness you feel during lovemaking can help you feel stronger and better able to cope with your chronic pain. Talk with your partner and plan positions that are comfortable, and remember that it’s important to communicate and keep a sense of humour.

Lisa Hughes InShapeLisa Hughes is a qualified counsellor and NLP Master Practitioner that specialises in helping men and women overcome any blocks that stop them from having a great sex life. She has helped hundreds of men and women who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma to feel greater love, connection and intimacy in their lives. Lisa is also the creator and of the revolutionary and award-winning “Be Be” vibrator, the first of its kind to be non-phallic in shape, and designed by women, for women. The Be Be vibrator has paved the way for a whole new category of sex toys.

Married for over 23 years with two teenage daughters, Lisa loves yoga, the great outdoors and sex. She can be contacted for coaching and counselling at lisa@lovebeingwoman.com. Her online shop for the Be Be and other love potions are available at www.lovebeingwoman.com.


Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


InShape News Pages

%d bloggers like this: