Posts for tag: Painful Sex
- Not enough lubrication
- A vaginal infection such as a yeast infection
- Problems or infections of the cervix
- Uterine fibroids (can cause deep pain)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ovarian cysts
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Vagina or vulva injuries
When to See an OBGYN
If you are experiencing pain with sex it’s important that you speak with your OBGYN right away. You should call if you also notice,
- Changes in vaginal discharge
The cause of your pain will dictate which treatment options will be most effective. If lack of lubrication is the cause, your OBGYN may recommend using a lubricant. If hormones are playing a role, which can be the cause for menopausal women, hormonal therapy can help to better balance hormones to improve vaginal dryness.
If an allergy is to blame, your OBGYN may recommend avoiding certain products that could be irritating the area. If an underlying disease or condition is causing pain, your OBGYN will discuss different ways to treat these issues whether through medications or surgery. If emotional factors are playing a part, your OBGYN may refer you to a therapist or psychologist who can help you work through anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues you’re experiencing.
If you find yourself dealing with persistent pain with intercourse, your OBGYN can help figure out what’s going on and provide you with the answers you need to make sex enjoyable again. You don’t have to deal with this problem alone.
Why am I experiencing painful sex?
There are several reasons why you may experience pain with intercourse. One of the more common ones is a lack of lubrication; however, painful sex could also be a sign of:
- An infection including yeast infections and infections of the cervix
- Vaginismus: A condition that causes muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
- Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to uterine tissue grows beyond the uterus
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian conditions
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes severe inflammation of the deeper pelvic tissue
- Vulvodynia: A condition that causes chronic pain in the vulva and other external organs including the clitoris
However, when it seems like something more is at play then it’s time to consult an OBGYN. If vaginal dryness is the cause, we can recommend or provide special lubricants. Menopausal women who are experiencing vaginal dryness may need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams.
We will need to perform a physical exam to check for any tears, signs of STDs, inflamed tissue, or other signs of infection or certain vaginal conditions. Some conditions simply require medication (as is the case with yeast infections or PID); however, chronic conditions such as endometriosis will require special treatments, lifestyle changes, and long-term monitoring from an OBGYN.
Are you dealing with painful sex? If so, your OBGYN can provide you with the care you need to get this problem under control. It’s important to address this problem as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing regular pain during sex this can be a source of embarrassment and concern. Something that is enjoyable and a source of pleasure has become uncomfortable. Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, has many causes and affects nearly all women at some point during their lifetime. While it may be a fleeting issue for some, for others this problem may become long term.
Causes of Painful Sex
If you suddenly experience pain during sex this could be a sign of a gynecological problem such as fibroids, endometriosis, or ovarian cysts. Other causes of painful sex include:
- Hormonal fluctuations (e.g. perimenopause)
- Vaginitis: inflammation of the vagina
- Vaginismus: tightening of the muscles near the opening of the vagina
- Skin conditions
- Urinary tract infections
- Vulvodynia: a pain disorder that affects the vulva
Pain can take on many different forms. Some women experience deep vaginal pain, while others may notice muscle spasms or cramping during or after sex. While painful sex may often be physical, when there are no physical problems it’s also important to consider that the problem may be psychological.
The goal of your gynecologist is to pinpoint what’s causing pain during intercourse as soon as possible so that a treatment plan can be created. During your checkup, your OBGYN will ask you questions about your symptoms, as well as medical history. From there, a physical examination and pelvic exam is performed to check for signs such as cysts or fibroids, which could be leading to pain. Depending on your sexual history and the symptoms you are experiencing, your doctor may also recommend getting STD testing to rule out any sexually transmitted infections.
Sometimes an ultrasound or other diagnostic testing is needed to further evaluate the reproductive organs to pinpoint problems. There are some simple measures you can take to try and alleviate pain during sexual intercourse. Some of these options include:
- Taking a warm bath prior to sex
- Using a lubricant
- Talking with your partner
- Applying an ice pack to the area if burning occurs after intercourse
The treatment that your gynecologist will recommend will depend on the cause of your pain. For example, a urinary tract infection can easily be treated with medication. If women experience pain as a result of the effects of menopause they may be given an estrogen vaginal cream to treat atrophy of the vaginal walls. Vaginal relaxation exercises and behavioral therapy may be recommended for certain conditions such as vaginismus, to reduce muscle contractions and tightening around the vagina.
If you are experiencing persistent pain during sex that is taking the enjoyment out of being intimate with your partner it’s important that you turn to an OBGYN who can help you figure out what’s going on and how to best treat it.