Painful intercourse is known as dyspareunia. This condition may be the result of physical or psychological factors. Read on to know about its symptoms and causes.
If you are a woman then there are chances that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't the only reason you are refraining from having sex. A lot of women experience pain while having intercourse. This is known as dyspareunia. It is a common problem that can be caused by physical or psychological factors and can be easily treated. According to experts, dyspareunia also develops in men but it's more common in women, especially those who have hit menopause. Genital pain can occur during or after sexual intercourse.
What are the symptoms of dyspareunia?
A woman suffering from dyspareunia can experience a lot of pain in her vagina, urethra, or bladder because of friction. The symptoms of this condition are:
• Pain while penetration during sex
• Constant pain during intercourse
• Pain during intercourse under certain circumstances
• Deep pain that occurs during thrusting
• Pain during intercourse accompanied by burning and itching
• Pain after intercourse
Note: Dyspareunia symptoms will vary depending on the underlying cause.
What are the causes of dyspareunia?
Dyspareunia can be a painful problem for a woman and there are a lot of physical and mental/ psychological causes behind it. Here the physical causes can range right from severe infections to dangerous pelvic trauma to disorders of the uterus and ovaries. Problems with these reproductive organs usually lead to deep dyspareunia pain which can be traced to emotions and relationships. Also, having sex too soon after childbirth, before letting the wound heal completely, can also cause dyspareunia. You must wait at least a few weeks after delivering a baby before having sex.
• Vaginal infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs)
• Skin conditions in the genital area, e.g. eczema
• Vaginismus involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles
• Vaginitis inflammation of the vagina
• Vaginal dryness can be associated with menopause, childbirth, and some medications. E.g. antidepressants, antihistamines
• Pelvic injury or trauma, e.g. pelvic surgery, radiotherapy, pelvic inflammatory disease
• Uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts
• Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Anxiety or depression
• Fear of intimacy
• Fear, guilt or shame related to sex
• Self-image issues
• Relationship problems
How to treat dyspareunia?
This condition needs medical attention. Consult a doctor. He may recommend a pelvic examination. You may also need to go through some tests like a pelvic ultrasound, urine culture test, and allergy test. However, dyspareunia treatment will depend on the physical or psychological causes. In case of physical causes, your doctor may recommend antibiotics and antifungal medications. But if the cause is psychological, you may require therapy or counseling. Physical activities, such as Kegel exercises, may also help as it improves control of the vaginal muscles.
Treating dyspareunia with home remedies
Dyspareunia in women after menopause occurs due to vaginal dryness because of fluctuating hormones. Therefore, it is effectively treated with a lubricant or drug which releases small doses of estrogen directly into the vagina to give it a soothing effect. This problem may also be treated at home if it hasn't become that severe. Take a look at a few home remedies you may consider in order to deal with dyspareunia.
• Empty your bladder fully.
• Take a warm bath.
• Take a painkiller.
• Use a water-based lubricant.
• Apply an ice pack to the vulva.
• Communicate your pain to your partner.
• Change your usual sexual routine such as shifting positions.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!