Sex Shouldn't Hurt

Sex Shouldn't Hurt

Medically known as dyspareunia, painful sex is a common problem that most women experience at some point in their lives. The reasons behind pain during sex are wide-ranging and varied, and episodes can be sparse or frequent. 

Dyspareunia can affect your self-esteem, sex life, and intimate relationships, so contact our team at Southeast Urogyn anytime pain becomes a problem. We can diagnose and treat physical issues behind the problem while providing the support you need. 

Common causes of painful sex

Pain during intercourse not only occurs for a variety of reasons, it’s possible for more than one issue to contribute at a time. Dyspareunia can be roughly divided into two types: penetrational and deep pain. 

Pain on penetration

When you try to have intercourse and pain is present immediately and around the vaginal opening, it’s most commonly due to inadequate lubrication. This may be due to a lack of sexual arousal or because your body doesn’t produce enough natural lubrication. 

Estrogen levels drop dramatically after menopause, childbirth, and while breastfeeding, and this can interfere with normal vaginal lubrication levels. 

Another cause of pain on penetration is vaginismus, an involuntary spasm of vaginal muscles. It’s frequently associated with anticipation of pain, including fear or memory of a previous painful experience. These spasms can create additional pain when they occur during intercourse. 

Infections and skin conditions anywhere in the genitourinary area can cause pain during sex. This includes urinary tract infections or eczema when it affects the skin around your genitals. Injury to tissue in and around your vagina may also cause dyspareunia. 

Deep pain

Felt deeper within your pelvic region, deep pain during sex typically occurs because of medical treatments and surgeries or due to medical conditions. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer can also cause changes that result in dyspareunia. 

Hysterectomy and other pelvic surgery can cause scar tissue that affects the vagina and creates pain during intercourse. 

Many medical conditions can contribute to deep pain during sex. These include: 

Treatment of dyspareunia in all cases may depend on successful treatment of the underlying factors contributing to pain. 

Emotional contributors

Intimacy and sex can be deeply connected to feelings and emotions, and these may or may not be connected to sex itself. 

For example, if you’re experiencing anxiety, stress, or depression for reasons other than intimacy, those emotions may still interfere with your ability to enjoy pain-free sex. Victims of sexual abuse may experience these factors at anytime, even as post-traumatic episodes years later. 

While there are many reasons for dyspareunia, sex shouldn’t hurt. Book a consultation with us at Southeast Urogyn if painful sex has become a problem. Call the nearest office directly to schedule your appointment. We’re located in Madison and Flowood, Mississippi.

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