Talking to your partner regarding your sexual health might decrease your pelvic pain and improve your sexual function. A study conducted in 2016 by McNicoll and other scientists suggests that being sexually confident, or having the ability to openly talk to your partner about how you sexually feel, can decrease the pain felt with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD), improve sexual function, and give your partner a chance to communicate to you in a way that can help improve your sexual health.
How can sexual confidence decrease your pain?
Pelvic pain and pain during sex might come from various different factors, including vaginismus, vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, tissue changes that result from menopause, or endometriosis. The 2016 study cited earlier particularly worked with women experiencing provoked vestibulodynia.
There are several factors that play a role in provoked vestibulodynia, such as biological, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and interpersonal dealings. This means that your pain is in connection with your brain, your body, your emotional health, as well as the energy of your relationship.
Being sexually confident or assertive with your companion can benefit you in focusing on actions that feel good, reducing pain-producing activities, and promote arousal, sexual desire, and partner closeness. Improving intimacy by sexual communication has resulted in greater sexual response as reported by several couples. Also, it lowered depression levels, reduced pain reception, and enhanced emotion management and pain coping.
What does being sexually assertive mean?
Sexual assertiveness means the extent to which an individual can frankly communicate his/her ideas, preferences, and feelings about sexual desire. Moreover, it is described as the ability to talk about three separate areas of one’s sexual experience:
- Sexual initiation and satisfaction
- Ability to resist the undesired sexual acts
- Ability to talk about your sexual history
How can you take an active role in sexuality?
Sexual initiation and taking about satisfaction – When to say “Yes”:
- I make clear to my partner the things I do not like in sex.
- I feel happy letting my partner know what feels good to me.
- I feel comfortable describing how my partner is supposed to touch me.
- When a method does not appear good, I talk about it.
- I remain open to my partner regarding my sexual needs.
- Initiating sex feels good to me.
- I tell my partner if I do or do not want to have sex.
- I make the first move for sex when I want to have it.
Power to refuse undesired sexual actions – When to say “No”:
- I reject sexual provoking if I don’t feel like having it, even on my partner’s persistence.
- I do not involve myself in sexual things that I don’t like.
Talking about the risks that come with sex and history of health
- I would question my partner regarding the risk of AIDS or his/her former partners if I need to know.
- I would inquire if I need to know about any sexually transmitted infection my partner ever got.
Ways to improve your sexual confidence
- Try to communicate about the topic of sex, it demands practice.
- Find someone reliable to talk to regarding your sexual experiences, such as a friend or therapist.
What can help you get rid of the pain?
Pelvic Floor Therapy
While learning and practicing sexual openness can assist in improving pain levels and enhance the quality of your relationship, it also is necessary to handle the body-based reasons for your pain with a pelvic floor therapist.
Pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy can assist repair the numerous structures (muscles, nerves, and tissues) that might be the underlying cause of your pelvic pain and pain during sex.
Some of the different techniques can include:
- Manual therapy for delicate tissue massage, muscle energy techniques, connective tissue manipulation, and myofascial release to deal with the connective tissue dysfunction and points triggering myofascial.
- Internal pelvic floor manual therapy can be performed to treat sensitive tissues, trigger points, muscle spasms, and guarding muscles that can induce pain with sex, the urgency of urination, and discomfort during bowel movements.
- Therapeutic exercises can be practiced to release captured nerves or to strengthen the pelvic floor.
- Biofeedback therapy to aid you to focus on easing the pelvic floor.
- Photobiomodulation therapy alleviates pain and promotes cellular healing and also tender trigger points, desensitizes scar tissue adhesions, and pain of muscle spasms.
- Visceral mobilization, which is a gentle massage method that relaxes internal adhesions and replaces movement to the organs such as the intestine, uterus, bladder, and ovaries to promote motility and GIT function.
- Training in self-treatment methods so you can begin to handle your symptoms at home. These procedures can involve self-massaging the pelvic floor with medical dilators.
- Neuromuscular re-education / autogenic relaxation to decrease persistent muscle over-activity and increase the functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system, such as pain management and digestion.
- Patient Education and Empowerment.
- Lifestyle adjustments like sexual positioning, stress reduction, bowel and bladder habits, hygiene, fluid intake, dietary fiber consumption to manage different factors that might be adding to pelvic floor dysfunction.