Sexual intimacy is something that varies greatly between couples.
“How much sex should I be having?” one might ask.
This is something that each couple must decide for themselves, and for many couples, the average number of sexual encounters will be set by the partner who desires it the least.
That said, it is never too late to address intimacy issues within a relationship. Regardless of what the sexual encounter looks like, physical intimacy — especially when there is an orgasm — provides great benefits to a relationship and should not be neglected.
Benefits include resolving marital conflict, relieving stress and anxiety and improving sleep. It also helps partners feel close to one another, even when their schedules are busy or communication has been limited.
When physical impairments inhibit a healthy sex life, it can cause a significant strain on a relationship. It is important to address these sooner rather than later. Many women do not realize there are solutions for conditions, such as pain with intercourse, inability to orgasm and low libido.
Pain with intercourse often is successfully treated by pelvic health physical therapists in just a few sessions. Pain can be present for several reasons, such as tight tissue, scar tissue from trauma such as childbirth or conditions like vaginismus or endometriosis. A pelvic health therapist is skilled at investigating the cause of pain and developing an appropriate treatment plan.
There can be various causes of the inability to orgasm, but starting with an evaluation of muscle function and tissue integrity can provide great insight into the cause. Appropriate referrals can then be made if there are signs of hormone imbalances or other concerns contributing to the inability to orgasm or low libido.
We are living in a fast-paced world, and for some, it becomes difficult to let the nervous system unwind enough to enjoy the pleasure that comes with a sexual encounter.
Meditation and mindfulness are overlooked solutions to sexual dysfunction, especially when the problem has been present for more than three months. Meditation and mindfulness have a significant impact on changing how the brain perceives pain and pleasure, both of which are important if there are issues with sexual intimacy.
Beginning a practice of meditation and mindfulness can be the first step in a healing journey of improving sexual satisfaction, regardless of any dysfunction present. One must be able to be present during sex and allow themselves to feel pleasure. Mindfulness increases awareness of sensations in the body and in time, can change one’s desire and response to sexual experiences.
Leslie Kremer has more than 15 years of experience in practicing physical therapy. She received her Master of Science in physical therapy from Clarke University and her doctorate of physical therapy from Des Moines University. She is certified in Graston Technique and has experience with kinesiotaping. She also has advanced training in women’s health, pregnancy and postpartum care. At Statera Integrated Health and Wellness Solutions in Dubuque, she offers physical therapy for women with concerns regarding abdominal and pelvic health.