Dyspareunia: Pain with Intercourse

dyspareunia- pain during intercourse

Dyspareunia is a recurrent or persistent pain that happens during sexual intercourse. It causes pain within the pelvis or in the genital area during the intercourse. Sometimes, the pin may occur after, before or during sexual intercourse. Dyspareunia has several possible causes and can be treated. It is a widely common disease that infected mostly women.

Causes of Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is a sign of a physical problem. But, some women experience it as an emotional factor. The prime causes of dyspareunia are;

  • Cystitis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Vaginal dryness because of breastfeeding, menopause, medication, childbirth or a little before intercourse
  • Skin disorders that may lead to burning, itching, cracks, or ulcers
  • May cause infection like Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) or yeast
  • Trauma or injury from an accident, pelvic surgery, childbirth, an episiotomy, or a hysterectomy
  • Vulvodynia
  • Vaginitis
  • Vaginismus
  • Pain in the valve area
  • Inflammation of the vagina
  • The muscles of the vaginal wall get tight spontaneously
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Some factors also restrain sexual desire or sometimes affect the ability of a person. This also gives rise to dyspareunia. Such factors are;

  • History of sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Body issue
  • Shame, fear, or guilt associated with sex
  • Stress
  • Medication like contraceptive pills
  • Relationship problems
  • Diseases such as thyroid, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis.

Symptoms of Dyspareunia

There are various symptoms that are responsible for painful sexual intercourse. However, the pain occurs;

  • During or after sexual intercourse
  • During penetration
  • In the bladder, vagina, or urethra
  • After pain-free intercourse
  • Making use of tampons
  • Under specific situation
  • With specific partners
  • Stabbing pain
  • Deep in the pelvis during the sexual intercourse

Who are at risk for Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia is painful for everyone. Both men and women experience equal pain during sexual intercourse. But it is more likely to find in women. Painful intercourse is mainly common to postmenopausal women. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, almost 75 per cent of females suffers from dyspareunia. Moreover, those people are at high risk if;

  • They are taking medication that leads to vaginal dryness.
  • They have a bacterial or viral infection.

How is Dyspareunia diagnosed?

Dyspareunia is diagnosed with the help of several tests. Doctors need to have a certain examination and tests for identifying this disease. He will begin the treatment only after by knowing the complete sexual and medical history of the patient.

Moreover, the doctor may inquire about the following things;

  • Which position or posture causes pain?
  • Which partner gives rise to pain?
  • When do you feel the pain?
  • Where do you feel the pain?
  • Is there any other activity that causes you pain?
  • Does your partner want to help you out?
  • Do any other situations or conditions contributing to your pain?

However, a pelvic examination is the most common way of diagnosing dyspareunia. In this procedure, the doctor may ask you some question related to your external and internal pelvic area like;

  • Tenderness
  • Scarring
  • Dryness
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Anatomical problems
  • Abnormal masses

Sometimes, doctors make use of a cotton swab and apply it to the different area of your vagina with slight pressure for determining the pain caused by sexual intercourse.

In addition to the above, some other tests and examination is also required to be done by doctors such as;

  • Urine test
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Allergy test
  • Culture test for checking yeast, bacteria or any other infection.
  • Counselling for detecting the presence of emotional causes

How Dyspareunia is treated?

The treatment of Dyspareunia is depended on the condition of its cause. If the pain is because of underlying infection, then the doctor will treat you with;

  • High antibiotics
  • Injectable corticosteroids
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Antifungal medicines

However, the doctor may change the prescription if your vaginal gets dry due to the long run of medicines. The alternate medicines may help to reduce the pain and restore the natural lubrication. In some women, the low level of estrogen may result in dyspareunia. Medicated cream, tablet, flexible ring or capsules will be advised for reviving the balanced level of estrogen. Ospemifene (Osphena) is an estrogen-free drug that works like estrogen on the tissues of vaginal. It repairs the damaged tissue, reduces its fragility, and makes them thick. Ospemifene also reduces the pain caused by sexual intercourse.

Natural and Home care remedies

Dyspareunia can be cured naturally at home. Try some of the following remedies,

  • Before having sex, make sure to empty your bladder.
  • Use lubricants which have high water solubility.
  • Prefer to have sex when you and your partner are relaxed and calm.
  • If you are experiencing pain, talk freely with your partner.
  • Take a warm shower before having sex.
  • Apply an ice pack to the vulva. It will provide you relieve.

Alternative remedies for Dyspareunia

Sometimes, doctors also recommend therapy for this disease. Mainly, there are two kinds of therapy for dyspareunia; Sex therapy and Desensitization therapy. Under desensitization therapy, you will learn some techniques to make your vaginal relax. Kegel exercises come under this category. It will help you to reduce pain. However, sex therapy will enhance communication with your partner. It will teach you to re-establish intimacy.

Preventive measurements of Dyspareunia

  • Make sure to use proper hygiene.
  • Prefer to use such lubricants which have high water solubility. It will reduce the dryness of the vaginal.
  • Get proper medical care.
  • Wait for at least six weeks to resume sexual intercourse after childbirth.

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