What do pain with sex, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse all have in common?

Published: July 11, 2022

All are signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.

People often explain away their problems. I hear things like:

“I have pain with sex because I’m anxious and can’t relax.”

“I have incontinence when I sneeze because I had a baby.”

“I have pelvic organ prolapse because of chronic constipation.”

But underlying all these problems is a huge issue: pelvic floor dysfunction.

Here’s how I explain the role of pelvic floor dysfunction in these problems.

Pain with sex and anxiety…

First, good for you for knowing that pain with sex and anxiety can be wrapped up in each other tightly. Anxiety and stress can make you tense up your pelvic floor muscles which, in effect, makes your vagina tighter and smaller which causes more pain!

How will you react? Our natural instinct is to tighten up more, which makes that little hole even smaller!!! Can you see how this is a downward cycle? This is pelvic floor dysfunction.

Breaking this cycle requires learning to relax the pelvic floor muscles, treating any trigger points in the pelvic floor, working on reducing anxiety and stress, and shifting your mindset when it comes to sex. And there are all kinds of ways to do that!

We can solve pelvic floor dysfunction.

What about incontinence?

What about incontinence. Did the baby do that to you? Whether you pushed that beautiful baby out or had a c-section, your pelvic floor took a hit during pregnancy. Your expanding uterus was a heavy load to bear and your pelvic floor likely got a little weaker. Also, your pelvic floor may have been damaged during the delivery process.

But, what happens next is what determines whether you have incontinence and if it goes away. The pregnancy caused damaged but your body is amazing and can heal really well… but sometimes you need to actively participate in the healing process.

For example, maybe your pelvic floor muscles are too weak or don’t contract before a sneeze like they’re supposed to. This is pelvic floor dysfunction.

Breaking this cycle means re-learning how to use your pelvic floor: building strength, improving coordination and timing, and making some changes in your bathroom habits.

We can solve pelvic floor dysfunction.

What is, Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Lastly… pelvic organ prolapse, this basically means that your pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and rectum) are starting to drop down in the pelvis and are putting pressure on the pelvic floor. At first it feels like pressure and then it might feel like something is blocking the entrance to your vagina (often making sex more difficult too).

Yes, the years that you spend straining with bowel movements can cause pelvic organ prolapse. Contrary to what my mother told me when I was a kid, pushing out your poop does not make you stronger. SMH This is pelvic floor dysfunction.

Breaking this cycle means eliminating constipation, activating the correct pelvic floor muscles, building strength and endurance, and increasing muscle bulk. Ideally, you would never strain to get out bowel movements.

We can solve pelvic floor dysfunction.

Pelvic floor dysfunction isn’t a permanent condition. We can fix it!

Pelvic floor dysfunction plays a role in nearly all pelvic problems including pain with sex, incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The cool thing is, you have control over your pelvic floor. It will take practice, but you can make major changes in these problems by learning more about your glorious pelvic floor and how to use it and treat it properly.

If you are having pelvic floor dysfunction and want some help, I’d love to help you fix it! To take a peek into how I work with people, you can buy my book for women looking to boost their love life, schedule an appointment to see me in real life, or  schedule email or video sessions and work with me online

7 Essentials for

Pain-Free, Feel-Good Sex

Pain with sex? Decreased desire, Arousal, and orgasm?

Let's get started on the solution right now!

Wish you weren’t dreading sex or the pain that comes afterward?

Download my 7 Essentials for Pain-Free, Feel-Good Sex guide to help things go more smoothly. This is the advice that I give to my clients when they first contact me. These changes are the essential foundation for having pleasurable stress-free sex!

Hi, I'm

Dr. Lauren Crigler.

I specialize in pelvic floor therapy, and have spent over a decade helping women have sex without pain.

I’m here to help you stop having pain and start really enjoying your sex life.

My favorite part of what I do is helping women reconnect with their partner. This isn’t just a job for me; it’s a passion!

Are you ready to look forward to Friday nights? If you want to have sex without vaginal or pelvic pain, you can work with me via professional coaching.