Most of the time when people think about infertility struggles they think about hormonal or medical conditions that are contributing to the difficulty in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy. As physical therapists we can’t help with those problems but we do get involved in the process of making babies.

We treat patients with sexual dysfunction which can range from the more commonly thought of male sexual difficulties with maintaining an erection or being able to ejaculate. Both of these issues can be pelvic floor related either due to the pelvic floor muscles being too weak, too tight, or being uncoordinated. Women can have difficulties having sex that may interfere in her ability to get pregnant through sexual intercourse.

Women can have difficulties having sex that may interfere in her ability to get pregnant through sexual intercourse due to a variety of conditions related to the pelvic floor including, but not limited to, vaginismus, vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, or a tight non-relaxing pelvic floor. These conditions may make sex painful or uncomfortable, limit the frequency or duration of sexual intercourse one can tolerate which may reduce the chances of getting pregnant or the pain may be so severe that having penetrative sexual intercourse and therefore getting pregnant naturally may be impossible.

For some patients being able to have pain-free sexual intercourse may be a long way off and require months or even years of treatment and waiting to have a baby may not be desired due to concerns over maternal/paternal age. For those patients, fertility treatments may be a great option. But for some, being able to tolerate a gynecological exam, a vaginal ultrasound, or any of the procedures necessary for fertility treatment to take place may be too painful to tolerate.

For both types of patients, pelvic floor physical therapy can be helpful to achieve the goal of having a baby either through sexual intercourse or through fertility treatments.

We like to think of making a baby and having pain free sexual intercourse as two different goals that may not be met at the same time. Luckily due to advances in fertility treatments, having successful sexual intercourse need not be a prerequisite to having a baby. At Foundations Physical Therapy we have contributed to the making of at least five different babies with two more on the way. Nothing could be more fulfilling than being partially responsible for bringing a baby into the world and the making of a mother. Surprisingly, not one of them has been named after any of us but we are hoping that the next one will be a little Esther, Fiana, or Ronit.


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