Pain during sex or dyspareunia is a problem that strains relationships. Research shows that 43% of women experience sexual problems with 7-58% reporting sexual pain. This pain can be felt before, during or after sexual intercourse.
Although both men and women can get this condition, it is more common among women. As Dr. Chris Obwaka tells us, dyspareunia is a symptom of different diseases. In other words, there is usually an underlying problem that causes the pain during intercourse.
Causes of pain during sex
Citing scientific studies, Dr. Obwaka who is a gynecologist gave us some of the common causes of pain during sex:
1. Chronic pelvic pain
This is pelvic pain that has lasted for over 6 months. Studies show that 90% of women with chronic pelvic pain experience pain during sex.
If you are having pain during sex, you need to see a doctor earliest possible because it could also be a sign of endometriosis. Apart from pain during sex, other signs of endometriosis include; heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, abnormal cramping and infertility.
3. Chronic pelvic inflammatory diseases
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) happens when bacteria from the vagina or cervix spreads to the uterus, ovaries or the fallopian tubes causing an infection. The bacteria usually result from sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. This disease gives rise to pelvic pain as well as pain during intercourse.
This is chronic pain in the vulva that may be caused by vaginal infections such as candidiasis and herpes.
5. Child birth
As awesome as it is to bring a life to this world, giving birth comes with its side effects. Some women have difficulties orgasming, getting aroused and even dyspareunia. Studies show that over 20% women will experience painful intercourse after giving birth.
6. Vaginal dryness
When a woman is not well lubricated down there, there is a higher likelihood to experience pain during sex. Vaginal dryness may be due to inadequate foreplay, inability to get aroused, menopause and hormonal contraception.
7. Fibroids and ovarian cysts
Women with fibroids and those with ovarian cysts may also experience pain during sex. The two conditions may also be accompanied by pelvic pain as well as bleeding.
8. Urethritis and cystitis
More often than not, cystitis is caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI). On the other hand, urethritis is when the urethra gets infected leading to inflammation. These two conditions can also lead to painful sexual intercourse.
Treatment and management
The gynecologist will examine your abdominal area and the vaginal area to determine the cause of the pain. Once the cause of the pain is identified, treatment and management are easy. Allowing enough time to get aroused and lubricated, and avoiding painful sex positions are some of the things you can do to avoid pain during sex caused by vaginal dryness.
If the cause of the pain needs medical treatment, the doctor will make the relevant prescription depending on the cause. In some cases, though rare, surgery is needed to treat dyspareunia.