Orgasm pain: Woman, 34, suffered 'insidious' foot pain whenever she climaxed

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Anyone with chronic pain knows there are certain triggers — moving too suddenly, eating the wrong thing or a change in temperature.

But doctors have revealed how a Canadian woman was blighted with ‘sharp’, sudden agony in her foot every time she had an orgasm.

During what is meant to be one of the most pleasurable sensations a person can feel, the 34-year-old endured 20 seconds of constant hurt.

She told doctors about the phenomenon after five months, when it started to ruin her and her husband’s sex life and put stress on their marriage. 

The patient was found to have a compressed nerve in her pelvis that ran down her leg to the arch of her foot that was activated when she climaxed.

Sometimes known as a ‘trapped’ or ‘pinched’ nerve, it occurs when the fibres are pressed by surrounding tissue, causing pain, tingling or numbness.

The woman, from Vancouver, was referred to a physiotherapist who was able to cure her bizarre ailment in three months through various exercises.

But she suffered long-term psychological damage and went to sex therapy with her husband to rekindle their ailing love life. 

A 34-year-old woman from Canada suffered 'sharp' pain in the arch of her right foot whenever she orgasmed

A 34-year-old woman from Canada suffered ‘sharp’ pain in the arch of her right foot whenever she orgasmed

What is dysorgasmia? 

Having cramps during sexual climax is known as dysorgasmia.

The shooting pains usually occur in the belly and is usually caused by muscles in the pelvic floor contracting rapidly and pressing on nearby nerves.

Endometriosis, where tissue similar to the womb grows in other parts of the body, and uterine fibroids — non-cancerous tumours in the uterus — can also cause it.

Patients are usually given pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles and prevent them from cramping during sex.

Couples therapy is also recommended if sexual health professionals believe the condition is being caused or worsened by psychological issues.

The tale was revealed in the medical journal Sexual Medicine.

The woman was referred to a gynaecologist where she complained of sharp pain in the medial arch — the raised part of the foot running from the heel o the forefoot — whenever she orgasmed.

It occurred whenever she had sex with ‘singular or multiple orgasms’.

But she had an otherwise normal sex drive and her orgasms and arousal levels were regular.

Doctors gave her ultrasounds to examine her pelvis but could not find anything wrong initially.

She was referred to a physiotherapist who took her through movements to test the tightness of different nerves, which identified the pelvis as where the trapped nerve was.

Ultrasounds then revealed her saphenous nerve was trapped near where the ligament attaching the oblique muscles to the pelvis and groin.

The nerve, which runs from  the inside of the hip down the leg, became trapped because of a scar from a C-section three years earlier and tightness in her abdominal muscles. 

She was referred to a physiotherapist at Diane Lee and Associates in Surrey, British Columbia, and given active release therapy — a combination of pressure on the painful area, while moving the limbs around it.

This is supposed to relieve pain by making the muscles function in the way they are supposed to.

Her scar was also massaged and she was also taught pelvic floor exercises to release the nerve.

But despite the pain being fully relieved, she still related sex to pain in her mind so her and her husband went to sex therapy to relieve her fears.

The Christian couple, who had not had sex before marriage, were taught to communicate about what they wanted from each other in ways they hadn’t before.

After five sessions, the woman said she felt more loved and desired by her husband than she ever had — even before the pain started.

The team from West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy in Vancouver said the combination of physiotherapy and sex therapy led to a full recovery. 

They wrote: ‘Through sex therapy, this motivated couple ended up with an improved sexual life beyond their sexual state prior to the introduction of pain with orgasm.’

While pain specifically in the foot during orgasm is an extremely rare occurrence, having cramps after sex in general is a known condition called dysorgasmia.

The shooting pains usually occur in the belly and is usually caused by muscles in the pelvic floor contracting rapidly and pressing on nearby nerves.

Endometriosis, where tissue similar to the womb grows in other parts of the body, and uterine fibroids — non-cancerous tumours in the uterus — can also cause it.

Patients are usually given pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles and prevent them from cramping during sex.

Couples therapy is also recommended if sexual health professionals believe the condition is being caused or worsened by psychological issues.

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