Dyspareunia - Treatment Pain During Sex

Dyspareunia – Painful Intercourse

Sexual intercourse while supposed to be a pleasurable experience may be associated with considerable pain or discomfort for some. Studies say that 1 in 4 women experience with painful intercourse most commonly early in sexual life or around menopause. It is mostly treatable with the right approach and you will be able to lead a healthy sexual life.

Identify the pain:-

The duration, location and nature of pain may provide important clues to the underlying cause. You may experience one or more of the following patterns

  • Superficial: - when penetration is attempted
  • Deep seated: -not associated with penetration but is felt only after this has occurred and is felt in the depth of the vagina on deep penetration.
  • After intercourse: - Main complaint is feeling of an aching soreness that may last for hours after completing the act. May sometimes be associated with the deep seated variety.


Superficial type of pain suggests that the problem lies at or near the introitus (which is the area surrounding the opening of the vagina). Whereas deep seated or pain after intercourse may mean involvement of pelvis.

Some women have always experienced pain for others it may be a recent problem after injury or infection. Some experience it after menopause only. It may increase over time or occur cyclically with menstruation.

What could cause Dyspareunia?

If the couple is inexperienced chances are it is due to improper technique or inadequate lubrication. if not this, there are many causes of discomfort during sex that could point towards an underlying problem.

Reasons of women suffering from painfull sex

  1. Infection of vagina or urinary tract possibly an STD.
  2. Skin lesions in the genital area may also produce pain like boils, fungal infections etc.
  3. A tender scar from previous child birth or else a cut given to enlarge the vaginal opening. Other surgeries such as if you had your uterus removed or repair of prolapsed uterus could later lead to dyspareunia.
  4. If the woman has always experienced pain during sex it most likely would be a defect in the structure of vagina which has to be corrected from a gynecologist.
  5. Menopausal women commonly experience dyspareunia as they have dry vagina and estrogen deficiency.
  6. Disorders of cervix(cervicitis). The penis hits the cervix during deep penetration and if it is inflamed will cause pain.
  7. Uterus, ovaries and fallopian tube lesions and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which is infection of these structures can also cause discomfort during sex and deep seated pain.
    PID can occur if an STD ascends up the vagina or during previous procedures like IUD insertion for contraception, medical abortions, biopsy of uterine lining etc.
  8. Presence of lesions like ovarian cysts, tumors in the uterus.
  9. Hormonal problems like growth of uterine lining in abnormal areas (called endometriosis)
  10. Even problems of anal canal can cause pain during intercourse.


How can painful sex in women be treated?

Sometimes there is nothing physically wrong but she may associate a negative character to the act of sex that makes it painful. The vaginal muscles actually go into spasm at any attempt of entry something that is called vaginismus. This needs a psychological counselling with a sexologist.

A single episode or isolated occasional soreness can be ignored as such is normal. However persistent distressing pain must be promptly examined by a gynecologist.

Meanwhile, certain changes on your part can help too although a consult is a must

  • change in position to avoid deeper penetration
  • prolonging foreplay to help in natural lubrication
  • using artificial lubricants

If the cause is due to other conditions like infection, hormonal concerns, STDs or anatomy then consult a physician for

  • antibiotics for infections picked up on urine culture, blood tests or vaginal swabs
  • surgical for any structural abnormality or Ovarian and uterine cysts, fibroid etc. seen on local per speculum exam or ultrasound.
  • estrogen treatment for menopausal vaginal dryness.
  • counseling for psychological cause

Call a doctor if there are symptoms such as bleeding, genital lesions, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, or involuntary vaginal muscle contractions.

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