Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual Dysfunction includes: painful intercourse (dyspareunia), symptoms associated with menopause, endometriosis, pelvic congestion, pelvic pain, vaginusmus, vulvar vestibulitis, vulvodynia, lichens sclerosis.

There are many stages women go through during pregnancy, after pregnancy, pre and post surgeries, mid and later in life issues that a can be helped by a Women’s Health Physical Therapist.

Are you “just dealing with” or afraid to talk to your spouse, girlfriend or Doctor about any of the following ......?


“Sex has always been uncomfortable, not pleasurable” or “since I had a surgery or my baby sex hurts and is uncomfortable.”

Also known as Dyspareunia

“I no longer feel like being intimate” or “I lack libido.”

Also known as Desire Disorder

“Sexual activity is not pleasurable anymore.”

Also known as Arousal Disorder

“I am unable to climax during intimacy.”

Also known as Orgasm Disorder

These can greatly affect a women’s well being—mentally, physically, and relationally. It becomes stressful for her and her sexual partner leaving both feeling inadequate and as though they have failed at one of the most beautiful and intimate aspects of the relationship

How Can a Women’s Health Physical Therapist Help?

Women’s Health Physical Therapy offers comprehensive rehabilitation including one on one evaluation, development of a treatment plan, and treatments. Treatments plans are a conservative, holistic approach including education about the symptoms and functional anatomy so you can better understand your body, a home exercise program, muscle relaxation and/or re-education, strengthening exercises to enhance function, manual connective tissue manipulation to reduce tissue tension and increase tissue mobility in the muscles, fascia, and scar tissue. By normalizing tissue tension and mobility, function is restored and pain is reduced or eliminated.

How Can a Women’s Health Physical Therapist Help?

Only 3% of women will spontaneously report sexual dysfunction with their doctor. Only 19% report sexual dysfunction when the Dr. asks them. We need to talk about this in order to receive help!

Some studies estimate that 19%-63% of women have some form of sexual dysfunction, with painful intercourse (dyspareunia) being the primary complaint.

Prevalence of Sexual complaints in Women:

  • Lack of Interest in sex: 27-32%
  • Unable to achieve orgasm: 22-28%
  • Pain during sex: 8-21%
  • Sex not pleasurable: 17-27%

Reference: Laumann IO, Paik A, Rosen RC. Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. JAMA. 1999;281:537-544.


"Over ten years ago, I complained about painful intercourse, which my doctor explained was most likely caused from vaginal dryness due to aging. After eight years of trying hormones and many different creams, which did not seem to help, I was ready to give up. I had lost all interest and avoided sex like the plague. This lead to utter frustration and disappointment for my husband. I felt guilty and selfish by avoiding him, but the pain was so awful!

My family physician referred me to a female OB/GYN. By this time my aging body was also experiencing overactive bladder. Besides medication she wanted me to see a therapist who worked specifically with patients dealing with my issues. I was a little intimidated at first before I met Brandi. But I was feeling like such a bad wife so I decided to give it a shot. Brandi listened and explained what might be going on physically that could be causing pelvic pain and bladder problems. My pelvic floor muscles were weak and extremely tight. During the therapy sessions, I learned techniques which gave me much better control of my bladder and relieved the pain I had experienced for so many years during intimacy.

I will always be grateful for Brandi's unique training and her willingness to deal with symptoms that so many health care professionals have no answer for. I would recommend her to anyone dealing with pelvic pain. Her desire to help women of all ages and her professional knowledge and experience make her a gift to the West Michigan area."   

—Ruth, Hospital Lab Technician


Lubrication can be a problem with intercourse especially during childbearing years and after menopause and/or hysterectomy. Not all women are able to become lubricated enough on their own for intimacy or it may take a while for your own natural lubricants to work. This does not mean you are inadequate sexually. Most of the common lubricants (ie.KY) contain an ingredient called propylene glycol that can be irritating to vaginal tissues. Slippery Stuff is a one of the best lubricants on the market, it's texture mimics our own natural lubrication and does not contain any irritating ingredients!


Related Links

Helping women overcome painful sex and penetration problems

National Vulvodynia Association

To learn more or to schedule an evaluation today,

call: 231.755.6410

or email: [email protected]