Sacroiliac pain during sex can ruin intimacy between lovers and become a serious problem in any relationship. Sexual relations are a crucial component of most close-bonded relationships. Sex is also one of the great joys of life and should be enjoyed by all at the right time and place. Being forced to refrain from sex because of pain adds a particularly bitter note to the already horrible suffering of sacroiliac symptoms.
Sexual effects of chronic pain are obvious and occur due to a wide range of causative conditions. However, when the affected anatomical area is so close to the regions of intimacy, then patients are particularly sensitive to their suffering. Many patients literally give up even trying to participate in sex for years at a time, much to the detriment of their relationships and therefore, their lives.
This essay explores the link between sexual activity and the expression of sacroiliac pain. We will investigate sex as a primary cause of pain, as well as an exacerbating factor in many patient expressions.
Symptoms of Sacroiliac Pain During Sex
Sacroiliac pain can affect the sex lives of both men and women alike. Both genders might experience similar symptoms due to positional or functional issues affecting the SI joint. Patients might suffer general soreness in the joint during and after sex or may suffer acute flare-ups of sharp symptoms during the act itself. Pain is generally felt in the hip region and possibly radiating into the groin or buttocks. Since most sacroiliac joint symptoms are aggravated by movement and weight bearing, both of these activities will lead to exacerbated pain in most patients.
Women might have a difficult time being flexible enough to accommodate certain positions, while men may also be greatly limited in their ability to perform, both physically and sexually. Remember that pain is very detrimental to sexual performance and can prevent either gender from becoming aroused or deriving any satisfaction from the act.
Causes of SIJ Pain from Sex
Pressure on the sacroiliac joint and mobilization of the joint are the leading causes of sex-related symptomology. Typically, certain positions reclining will be painful, as they might place or increase pressure on the already sensitive joint. Since lower body movement is an inherent part of sex, the actual joint might be mobilized under duress, increasing the pain experienced.
Women tend to experience pain when on their back with their legs raised upwards or outwards to the sides. The weight of a partner on top of them will often be a major aggravator of symptoms, since it might directly stress the hips and SI joints. Women also tend to experience pain when upright on their knees, although some women have pain when kneeling in any position. Women might also have pain when turned on one side, with the painful joint facing downwards into the bed. If the woman is on her stomach with a pillow under her, the pressure might increase on the SI joint, making this position too painful to bear. Women are likely to have pain when standing during sex, as well.
Men have similar positional issues. Men might have a difficult time supporting their lower bodies when on top of a partner. The pressure can easily affect the SI joints bilaterally. Men might have trouble kneeling, especially when moving the lower body at the same time. Men might suffer truly horrible pain if they are on their back, moving their pelvis with a partner on top of them. The combination of direct downward pressure and mobilization can be a terrible combination. Men might also suffer discomfort on their side when the painful joint faces into the reclining surface. Standing might prove to be too difficult to perform during sex.
Sex-Related Sacroiliac Pain
When it comes to intimacy, couples can be very sensitive and might suffer deterioration of their relationship due to poor communication. Therefore, the first tip we provide to patients who are suffering sex-related pain is to communicate openly with your partner. Tell them that you want to be together and express the physical joy of your love. However, tell them that some positions might be painful and make the undertaking prohibitive or even impossible. Tell your partner that you want to work together to find solutions that work for both of you.
Next, try to experiment to find positions that work. Couples will need to be open minded to changes in position in order to accommodate painful sacroiliac disorders. Small changes in postures can sometimes provide greatly improved results, so really go out of your way to try everything.
Finally, continue to pursue treatment and go to the doctor together. Make recovery a team effort with each partner showing respect and support for the other in regards to the pain and the collateral consequences on the pain on both people and their relationship. Your physical therapist might have some constructive input that can help to save your sex life, despite chronic sacroiliac pain. If you love each other, then all the effort will be worth it many times over.
Remember also that some sacroiliac joint pain problems are actually psychogenic. Pain which flares during sex, and not at other times of similar movement and stress, might be directly related to the activity or issues in the relationship. We have observed this countless times in patients who never saw the correlation on their own, but were eventually cured using knowledge therapy to resolve the underlying psychoemotional causation of symptoms.