Pain During Intercourse
Pain during intercourse is a problem each day, women from all around the world are forced to deal with. In medical terms, pain during intercourse is called dyspareunia, a condition that can be treated after seeking medical advice. Dyspareunia or pain during intercourse is manifested by different sensations of discomfort or pain, that appear and disappear during intercourse or even after. When the pain is not so intense it only affects the vulva and the opening of the vagina.
Types of pain during intercourse
There are many types of pain namely:
- Primary pain during itercourse- appears after the first intercourse;
- Secondary pain during intercourse – appears after a certain period, the woman had a sexual relationship but the pain is caused by psychological trauma;
- Superficial pain during intercourse- appears at the beginning of penetration;
- Deep pain during intercourse – occurs when the penetration is complete.
Superficial pain during intercourse is manifested by early discomfort, at the beginning of the intercourse, discomfort felt in the vulva, with burning and stinging sensations. The causes are vaginal infections, irritation, trauma, radiation therapy and in most of the cases insufficient lubrication.
Causes of Pain During Intercourse
There are many possible causes that can leat to pain during intercourse, which vary depending on the nature of the disease.
The superficial causes of pain during intercourse are:
- Lubrication failure – due to a short prelude, for women who have passed to menopause due to the low estrogen levels;
- An inflammation or infection in the genital area – they can affect the vulva or vagina
- Urinary tract infections;
- Genital herpes
- Allergic reactions to latex condoms;
- Antihistamines (drugs against allergies) – causes temporary dryness of the vagina;
- Menopause – one of the most common causes as vaginal thinning and estrogen level decrease (this phenomenon is called atrophic vaginitis care)
Profound causes of pain during intercourse
- Infection or inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis), uterus or fallopian tubes
- Endometriosis (inflammation of the uterus);
- Pelvic tumors;
- Ovarian cysts;
- Uterine prolapse;
- Radiation – used in cancer treatment.
Psycho-social causes of pain during intercourse
The psycho-social causes of pain during intercourse are special cases, except those specific to each type of dyspareunia. Most women who have been victims of sexual abuse usually suffer from pain during intercourse. Moreover, these women may suffer from vaginismus. Vaginismus is a condition that is manifested by involuntary spasms of the vagina, making penetration painful or impossible. Fear, anxiety, fear of pregnancy, religious considerations – are all factors that may prevent arousal and lubrication, hence the pain that can sometimes be unbearable. Marital and psychological problems such as depression are common causes of pain during intercourse, that of erectile dysfunction. Women whose partners are distant or negligent have a normal reaction by the lack of sexual attraction to partners, while men in similar situations, may experience erectile dysfunction and even impotence.
All these factors must be made aware at first through a personal evaluation of the situation made by the person concerned, then by a discussion with a specialist. Untreated in time, pain during intercourse will make sexual activity to be associated strictly with pain, and interest in intercourse would drop dramatically.
Pain During Intercouse Treatment
Mild pain during intercourse, which usually occurs during penetration can be minimized by applying an ointment with anesthetic effect. It is also helpful to apply a water based lubricant before intercourse. Why water-based lubricants? Because oil-based ones can affect the quality of contraceptives such as condoms or diaphragms. For better lubrication of the vagina, enough attention to foreplay and deep pain can be lessened or eliminated by careful choice of positions during intercourse.
Pain during intercourse due to menopause and all that implies it can be treated with estrogen-based creams ( hormone replacement therapy). Inflammation and / or an infection is treated using antibiotics or antifungal drugs. In case of inflammation of the vulva, , wet compresses with aluminum acetate solution are verry effective. Surgery removes cysts or abscesses and can even repair some anatomical abnormalities relieving the pain during intercourse.
Last but not least, couple psychotherapy can be very effective in identifying negative or pessimistic attitudes about intercourse and improve communication between the couple, thus solving the problems that can cause the appearance of pain during intercorse.