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Can Perineal Massage Make Sex Less Painful?

Hi friends! Were you cleared to return to intimacy with your partner only to find that it wasn’t the same? There may be pain with sex postpartum or you might not feel the same sensation. This week we are going to talk about a technique called perineal massage that can help with pain.

First, let’s talk about why there might be pain in the postpartum period with intimacy. If you had an episiotmy or perineal tearing, there may be some scar tissue around the entrance to the vagina. The scar tissue can limit how much the tissues move and cause friction/pain with intercourse. Even if you did not have any tearing but sex is still painful, your pelvic floor muscles may be overactive.

Using a perineal massage can help to decrease pain and help the tissues move better to allow for pain-free intercourse. Sex or intimacy with your partner should not be painful!

You should not perform this technique if you have any stitches, open lesions/wounds, incisions that have not healed, or cancer in the abdominal or pelvic region you should not perform perineal massage. If none of these apply to you, get clearance from your provider before starting.

Watch this video below and Jeanice will show you how to perform a perineal massage to help with pain. Note that this technique is slightly different from the perineal massage that can be performed during pregnancy to help the pelvic floor and vaginal tissues prepare for a vaginal delivery.

In addition to perineal massage, it can be very helpful to see a pelvic floor therapist in the postpartum period. They can help you identify the pelvic floor muscles and help to treat common conditions like urinary incontinence, constipation, pelvic/abdominal pain, and more! Ask your provider for a referral, or find one near you at

For more tips on postpartum intimacy, you can check out our Sex After Baby E-course and Sex After Baby Book.

To learn more about your pelvic floor muscles, check out these great resources:

For providers, check out our online courses to help your clients. Consider joining our Ambassador Program and most of our courses are included with your membership!

Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT

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