There's no doubt that painful intercourse may have a major impact on your life and relationship with your partner. Studies show that 30 percent of women experience painful intercourse at some point in their lives.
For some women, it can be temporary, but for others, it can become chronic. Dyspareunia refers to persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during, or after intercourse of other sexual activities.
Many women who experience painful intercourse, always choose to keep it to themselves, thus impacting their mental, physical health, and relationship at large.
Women with dyspareunia may feel different types of pain during intercourse.
Pain during penetration(entry pain)
Deep pain during intercourse or thrusting of the penis
Burning, itching or aching
Pain with eveey penetration including a tampoon
Cramping similar to menstrual cramps
Here are causes of dyspareunia (painful sex) in women.
1. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of a woman's reproductive organ. PID is usually caused by sexually transmitted diseases, especially chlamydia and Gonorrhea and other bacterial infections. When there is an infection in the vagina that is left untreated, it can spread from the vagina to the cervix and upper genital tract, like fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.
With PID, the genital tissues are inflammed, causing deep vaginal pain during intercourse.
2. Sexual Transimmited Disease (STDs)
Sexually Transimmited Diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites and spread through sexual contact. STDs can potentially cause painful sex.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can lead to vaginal irritation, which triggers pain during intercourse. Blisters and sores caused by genital herpes can make it painful during penetraton.
Vaginitis is the term used to describe various disorders that cause inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis always result from infections such as, UTIs, yeast infection, and bacterial vaginosis. The inflammation of the vagina can cause abnormal discharge, irritation, and itching, thus making it painful during ssxual intercouse.
4. Vaginal dryness
The walls of the vagina are lubricated with a thin layer of clear fluid thanks to the hormone estrogen, which helps maintain that fluid and keeps the vagina supple and moist.
Vagina dryness is usually caused by a drop of estrogen levels, which mainly occurs in menopause and chemotherapy. Childbirth and breastfeeding can also cause the estrogen level to decline. Some hormonal birth control and medications, such as allergies medications and blood pressure, can also cause a drop in estrogen level.
Vaginal lubrication reduces friction during intercourse, so, vaginal dryness can cause pain during and after sex.
5. Emotional factors
Painful intercourse can also occur due to psychological factors and mental disorders such as anxiety, or depression, which can inhibit sexual arousal and lead to vaginal dryness. Besides, pelvic muscles are extremely sensitive stress.
Stressful situations can make pelvic floor muscles tighten during intercourse resulting to painful sex. History of sexual abuse, relationship problems, can also cause painful intercourse.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrium, the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside it. The endometrial tissue can abnormally grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the bowel, and the lining of the pelvis.
Painful intercourse is a sign of endometriosis. Penetration and vaginal activities during intercourse, can pull and push endometrial tissues and cause pain.
Although painful intercourse can be tough to discuss, it is important to talk to seek help. Dyspareunia can be treated and should be dealt with as soon as it starts. Do not suffer in silence.
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