If you have never experienced pain during intercourse, consider yourself lucky. It is actually quite common. 3 out of 4 women have pain during sexual intercourse at some point in their lives. Sometimes it goes away, but for other women it becomes chronic. These women usually ask: Is my painful intercourse due to a gynecologic condition?
Where And When Women Have Pain
The medical term for painful sexual intercourse is dyspareunia, and it is defined as persistent or frequent genital pain that a woman feels before, during, and after sex. It is not normal, and finding the cause should be a priority.
Women may feel pain only upon entry or initial penetration. It can also occur with every penetration, even inserting a tampon. Thrusting can cause deep pain, with the addition of throbbing, burning, or aching pain well after intercourse.
Where the pain is located can be varied, and they include the following:
- At the vestibule, or the area surrounding the opening of the vagina
- Within the vagina
- The perineum, or the area between the anus and vagina
- The vulva
Gynecologic Conditions That Cause Pain
Any pain during sex should be addressed with Dr. Asulin. Most conditions have treatments to reduce or eliminate the problem.
Contact dermatitis is a very common issue and is a reaction to irritants from perfumed soaps, douches, and lubricants which can lead to ulcers or cracks in the skin of the vulva. Symptoms include itching, burning, and pain.
This is an inflammation of the vagina and vulva due to a yeast or bacterial infection. Discharge, itching and burning are common symptoms.
This causes chronic pain around the vestibule that causes itching, burning, rawness, and stinging. Talk with Dr. Asulin about how to reduce these symptoms.
This is a reflex contraction of the muscle at the opening of the vagina causing pain. It can be a result of fear or past trauma.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Known as PID, this is an inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or other reproductive organs.
Additional gynecologic conditions that can cause pain during sex include the following:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Cervical infections
- Ectopic pregnancy
Women experiencing menopause will commonly have pain due to dryness. A water soluble lubricant can help to reduce the pain, and you can talk with Dr. Asulin about hormone replacement therapy.
Don’t suffer with painful sex. It isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, and your gynecologist is there to help.