The Pelvic Floor, Sex And Orgasms

Struggling with pain during sex, difficulty orgasming, premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction? You need to know about the pelvic floor.

The Pelvic Floor, Sex And Orgasms

The Pelvic Floor, Sex And Orgasms

The Pelvic Floor, Sex And Orgasms

3 minute read

Did you know that having a healthy pelvic floor is important for your sex life? That’s right, this network of muscles inside the pelvis not only supports the pelvic organs, plays a key role in pregnancy and childbirth, and contributes to healthy bladder and bowel function... it’s also a major player in a satisfying sex life and earth-shattering orgasms!

How Your Pelvic Floor Affects Your Sex Life

When your pelvic floor muscles are healthy, you are more likely to have an orgasm when you want to (and not when you don’t want to), less likely to have pain during sex, have more control over your erections, and are better at squeezing your vaginal muscles.

When your pelvic floor muscles are healthy, you are more likely to have an orgasm when you want to (and not when you don’t want to), less likely to have pain during sex, have more control over your erections, and are better at squeezing your vaginal muscles.

On the other hand, if your pelvic floor is either overly weak or overly tight, you are more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm, pain during sex, premature ejaculation and difficulty maintaining an erection. In other words, there are lots of bedroom advantages to having a well-toned pelvic floor!

Pelvic Muscle Tone And Orgasms

So, how does pelvic floor tone actually affect orgasms? Well... an orgasm is actually a series of muscle contractions around the genitals and anus. During sexual stimulation, arousal builds and muscle tension increases; this tension is eventually released with rhythmic pulsations. When the pelvic floor muscles are working well you have more control over whether, and when, these pleasurable muscle contractions occur.

Is The Pelvic Floor Behind Your Sex Problems?

So when you have pelvic floor dysfunction what effect can it have on your sex life? There are a number of common issues that may arise:

Pain During Sex

A pelvic floor that is overly weak or overly tight can cause pain during sex (also known as dyspareunia). Pain can be due to a number of causes, but when pelvic floor issues are at play the pain is most likely to be felt during vaginal or anal penetration. When vaginal penetration is painful this may be due to vaginismus—a condition where the muscles spasm painfully when anything is inserted.

Erectile Dysfunction

For the penis to become erect, the pelvic floor muscles need to relax enough to let blood flow into the penis and make it hard. Likewise, to maintain an erection the muscles need to be strong enough to keep the blood inside and prevent it from flowing back into the rest of the body.

When pelvic floor muscles are not contracting and relaxing properly this can lead to difficulties with erection.

Orgasm Difficulty

When the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, reaching orgasm becomes difficult as they lack the strength to tense and release as needed. When the muscles are stronger you can squeeze them to intensify sensation and they will be ready to pulse with the contractions of orgasm when the time comes. On the other hand, when the muscles are overly tight you may have difficulty reaching orgasm, or you may orgasm more quickly than intended.

Premature And Delayed Ejaculation

Pelvic floor issues, especially muscle tightness, can be an underlying factor with premature ejaculation, also known as “rapid ejaculation”. The pelvic floor weakness may also be a factor in delayed ejaculation.

Sexual problems due to pelvic floor dysfunction can be frustrating and stressful.

Sex is about so much more than orgasm; paying attention to and taking pleasure in your whole body and mind with things like dirty talk and sensation play can expand and intensify your sex and pleasure no matter your level of physical ability.

Still, sexual problems due to pelvic floor dysfunction can be frustrating and stressful. You can read up on different practices to combat orgasm challenges and painful sex, like Kegel exercises and pelvic floor stretches, and be sure to reach out to a medical professional if in doubt. Striving for a healthy pelvic floor is an important step towards a healthy and happy sex life.

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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