Communicating with your partner about your pelvic floor concerns

Communicating with Your Partner About Your Pelvic Floor Concerns

Pelvic floor dysfunction affects roughly 22% of women age 20 years old, gradually increasing to 75% at 50+ years, and 15% of men. Sharing these pelvic floor concerns with partners is an important part of maintaining one’s health.

Commonly, many of these people who report dysfunction symptoms, conjunctively report difficulty with sexual functioning as well. This encompasses a whole host of more specific concerns, most frequently, pain with intercourse. Pain with intercourse includes any of the following: inability to/difficulty/pain with initial insertion (fingers, toys, devices, penis, etc), pain with deeper thrusting, pain with orgasm, or pain following sexual activity.

WHERE SEXUAL PLEASURE STEMS FROM

This can cause issues with your own orgasm, as well as your intimacy and connection with your partner. Many people struggle with this or will even avoid relationships and intimacy entirely. If you are already in a relationship, pelvic floor concerns causing a drastic change to your sex life can be a difficult adjustment for all parties involved while still feeling that physical connection. If you are single, it can seem overwhelming to consider starting a new relationship in the midst of this journey. It can be done!

SHARING YOUR PELVIC FLOOR CONCERNS

Maybe, you haven’t told your partner about your pelvic floor concerns or pain. Maybe you have, and they think you are making it up. Possibly they do sympathize with you, but really they don’t understand what it really means or feels like to have pain or sensitivity with your pelvic floor. Based on their response, you may experience some complicated feelings.

I want you to know that this is a normal response, and as much as it may feel like it, you are not going through it alone! Let’s talk about ways to communicate with your partner, and how to continue having the conversation, as well as cover some suggestions you can approach your partner to begin incorporating changes into your sex life to better address your pelvic floor concerns.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE?

Try answering some of these questions for yourself:

  • What makes you feel comfortable in bed?
    • Clothes or no clothes?
    • Blankets, sheets, pillows?
    • Cold or warm temperatures? Fans?
  • What makes you feel sexy?
    • Lingerie?
    • Toys?
    • Lube?
    • Dirty talk?
    • Watching or reading intimate adventures?
  • What environment creates intimacy for you?
    • Lights: On? Off? Dimmed? Disco party lights?
    • Music?
    • Candles?
    • Daytime or nighttime?
  • What else helps get you “in the mood” or feeling your sexiest?
  • What is the best location to get your motor revving?
  • Do you prefer to plan your sexy time, or be spontaneous?
  • If you were physically separate from your partner, which of the following makes you feel sexiest?
    • Sexting
    • Phone sex
    • E-mails
    • Video chat
    • Writing stories
  • Is there a solo method that works for you to achieve orgasm?

It is important to educate yourself as fully as possible about your pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as your specific conditions and symptoms. This will enable you to communicate clearly with others, like your provider or pelvic floor physical therapist , about your pelvic floor concerns while also providing you with the know-how to communicate with your partner effectively about your pelvic floor dysfunction.

SEXUAL DISCOVERY & PELVIC FLOOR CONCERNS

Explore these important options to be successful with your partner:

  • Build your care team
    • PT
    • Endocrinologist
    • Counselor
    • Couples therapy
    • Sex therapist
    • Couples massages
    • Couples yoga classes
    • ETC: Who/what are you going to add in here?
  • Talk to your partner about pelvic pain
  • Ask your provider for recommended reading or resources regarding your condition to share with your partner
  • Bring your partner with during your PT sessions
  • Sex does not have to mean penetrative sex, expand your foreplay to full pleasure with your personal combination of the following:
    • Relaxation and meditation
    • Watching intimate videos together
    • Use lubrication and/or moisturizer
    • Incorporate toys and/or intimacy aids
    • Sexy talking
    • Role playing
    • Slower pacing
    • Massages (from body to more intimate vaginal/penile massages)
  • Consent multiple times throughout. This is SO important for someone who experiences pain.

YOUR TOOLS

IN PREPARATION

DAILY, OR AFTER SEX, RELIEF

DURING INTIMACY

We also have a fantastic resource for solo discovery, or share and make a fun partner date night out of it! Our pleasure quizzes help create a fun and easy environment for you to share this information and learn about one another in a flirty, non-judgmental way! So download some fun!

BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT, AND REPEAT

You have taken in A LOT of information and resources at this point. You’re doing great!

Returning back to our first thoughts for a moment, I want to remind you that you are not alone. Many people are going through similar pelvic floor concerns. The key is to find the moments you can enjoy.

Your journey can be a wonderful adventure, don’t avoid partnership or intimacy, let’s figure this out and be brave together! Talk to your partner, if you already have, I encourage you to try again. Find a resource, then try it out.

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