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DrSugar Answers: Pelvic Stress Fracture and Sex?

DrSugar is in the house and answering your questions.

Dear DrSugar,
I am getting married and going on my honeymoon in less than a month. Yay! I just got diagnosed with a stress fracture of the inferior pubic ramus, presumably from too much running. Boo! My doc told me to limit my exercise to swimming or the arm cycle machine at the gym for at least the next four weeks. My concern is, since it is that my pubic bone that has the stress fracture, will I be able to have sex with my fiancé/husband or will that hurt the bone too?
Broken Bride

To see what DrSugar has to say about this unfortunately placed fracture,


First let me say congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Hopefully this injury won’t ruin the wedding or your honeymoon. The inferior pubic ramus is a bony structure in the pelvis, commonly referred to as the pubic bone. Stress fractures of the pubic ramus are fairly uncommon, but can occur in long distance runners, military recruits, and other athletes that sustain high impact activity for long periods of time. The damage to the pelvis develops because of repetitive impact that is absorbed by the pelvis while running. Common symptoms include groin pain while running, pain while standing or jumping on one leg, and pain when pressure is applied to the site of the stress fracture.

The good news is that the main treatment of pelvic stress fractures is to avoid running for at least a month, and perhaps longer, depending how long the pain persists. The average time to a full recovery is about 3-5 months. There are no specific recommendations against sex when you have a pelvic stress fracture, however it would be wise to avoid high impact motions or anything that causes groin pain — so you might need to experiment with different positions. A good rule of thumb when recovering from any stress fracture is to avoid painful activities and high impact activities like the ones that caused the injury in the first place. For further information consult your primary doc or orthopedist. Again, good luck with your wedding and honeymoon.

If you have a question for DrSugar, send me a private message here and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

Join The Conversation
Heyjude81 Heyjude81 8 years
I SHATTERED my pelvis in a car accident about a year ago. None of my fractures were displaced (surprisingly) so I didn't require surgery. My doc gave me NO advice on sex, so we just did what felt comfortable us. It was scary to get started, but after a couple we weeks we figured out positions that worked for us. In retrospect, I think we got 'back on the horse' too early, b/c it was pretty scary (though surprisingly not that painful) since endorphines released during sex can reduce pain, but I was so scared that I didn't really enjoy it, and since he could tell I wasn't that "focused" into it, he was afraid to try again. Bottom line, just make sure you aren't doing something that is very painful. Research positions that work well, and if it hurts STOP. You have to be open and honest about what is/is not working for you. Also, I would NOT take pain meds (at least not any stronger than ibuprofen) before sex. This may give you a false sense of security and you might not realize that you are in pain and try doing something that is hurting you. Additionally, it makes it MUCH harder to climax, so you might over exert yourself trying. Also, keep your mind open to foreplay and other activities that won't stress your pelvis. It's frustrating, but you will be back to normal in no time, and working through this and communicating with your honey will make the experience even more special when you can return to normal activity.
bp99 bp99 8 years
@glowing moon No, a percentile doesn't work like a ranking like that. You might want to refresh your memory by Wikipedia-ing percentile. Note that all the constants there are 100, as in 100 %. Truthfully, i'm surprised by your lack of understanding of what that actually means. Did you ever get a standardized test back where you scored more than 100%? Are there bonus questions on the bone density test? Because thats the only reason that you should be getting 100+ %.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
"How can your bones be stronger than 110% of people? That doesn't make any sense. The highest that makes sense is like 99% (or anything smaller than 100, at least)" I scored 110% "on the percentile." A percentile works like a ranking. My bone density was measured. My measurement was RANKED among woman my age and my ethnicity. My measurement was off-the-chart high, specifically, at the 110% percentile. I hope this makes sense. Truthfully, I'm surprised by your question. I thought most people would be familiar with percentiles, as they're used to measure student scores on standardized tests. Did they get rid of those tests? Is the percentile scoring obsolete??
legallyblonde legallyblonde 8 years
I agree with the poster above me. I am dealing w/ a tibial stress fracture from distance running, and every distance runner I know is unfazed by it. A lack of calcium/vitamin D is just one of several reasons for stress fractures to occur in the first place. In general, it's good to take it easy (REALLY easy) for the first 2 to 3 weeks. Obviously avoid any activity that causes pain, so if you can find a position that works for you then go for it, otherwise hold off until you are better!
aburlock aburlock 8 years
Stress fractures happen all the time in long distance runners, its not uncommon at all (and in women AND men). It probably doesn't have much to do with her calcium intake. I agree that you should try different positions to find what is least painful. Good luck with your recovery! How can your bones be stronger than 110% of people? That doesn't make any sense. The highest that makes sense is like 99% (or anything smaller than 100, at least)
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
ask your doctor since not many people here will really be able to make a proper diagnosis without knowing your full medical condition and history. good luck and congratulations!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
"I just got diagnosed with a stress fracture of the inferior pubic ramus, presumably from too much running." Hmmmm, do you eat dairy products or take calcium supplements? I'm surprised you have a stress fracture from running. I wonder how dense your bones are. Over the past 20 years, I've been jogging and running a lot. I was a long-distance athlete, and ran several miles a day, five days a week. These days, I run twice a week (and for the rest of the week, I weight-train and dance). I've NEVER suffered a stress fracture in my bones. I drink 3 glasses of skim every day (and take some calcium supplements). Per my bone scan, my bones are remarkably dense. I scored 110% on the percentile. According to the data, my bones are arguably denser than all woman at my age and ethnicity. For preventative reasons, you may consider eating dairy products or taking calcium, if you're not already.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I had that in the Army and yes it hurts like the devil...but I've gotten married and had three kids since'll be fine. If it's sore though, like when it's raining for some reason, like ski said, stick to positions where your legs aren't as extended. If it's really sore then.. :dog: ya know. :)
skigurl skigurl 8 years
do the spoon position! or the he is off the bed, you're on your back with legs on shoudlers this too detailed? haha from what i understand about the injury, it might hurt to widen your legs really far, ie: missionary may be out, but there are more gentle ways of doing stuff!
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
Owwwww!? (Are you okay?) If not, there are other ways to 'consummate' the marriage.
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