Painful Intercourse Q & A
What Is Painful Intercourse?
When a woman experiences pain during or after intercourse on the exterior of the genital area or within the vagina, she is suffering from dyspareunia. The pain can appear anywhere in the vaginal area. Some women experience it at the entrance of the vagina. Others experience it inside the vaginal canal or on the cervix. Some women suffer from a severe tightening of the vaginal muscles during penetrative sex that results in discomfort.
What Causes Painful Intercourse?
There are a wide variety of causes of painful intercourse. Most of the conditions that can result in discomfort during or after sex are treatable once the root cause is diagnosed. Some of the common conditions include:
- Atrophic vaginitis
- Allergic reactions to clothing or hygiene products
- Inflammation of the vaginal opening
- Side effects of some medications like antihistamines
- Skin diseases affecting the vaginal area
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal dryness
What Treatments Address These Issues?
Treatment depends on the root cause of the pain or discomfort experienced during intercourse. For example, if dryness is the issue, then a topical estrogen replacement therapy or an over-the-counter water-based lubricant may help. The doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication, steroid creams, or an antibiotic to clear up any yeast or bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, or skin conditions. If the pain is caused by endometriosis or growths such as fibroids, the doctor may prescribe medication or laparoscopic surgeries to remove the growths. In all cases, it is important to be open and honest with your partner about any discomfort. With patience and gentleness, you can still find intimacy and fulfillment. However, it is important to seek medical assessment and treatment. The doctors at San Francisco Women’s Healthcare provide gentle and discreet care for women living with painful intercourse.