Some women experience discomfort during intercourse regularly. Approximately three out of every four women in the United States have reported experiencing discomfort during intercourse at some point in their lives.
"Dyspareunia" is the scientific word for painful intercourse. It refers to pain that occurs before, during, or following sexual activity in your genital area.
Some women report experiencing pain in their lower back, pelvis, uterus, or bladder. This pain can make sexual intercourse unpleasant. An international survey discovered that some women will avoid sex completely.
Getting a diagnosis
Doctors may struggle to diagnose dyspareunia since the condition is frequently accompanied by mental distress and humiliation. Many women are reluctant to tell their doctors that they avoid sex because it hurts so badly.
Dyspareunia can be caused by a variety of factors, including minor infections or vaginal dryness, as well as more complex disorders such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Dyspareunia can also be caused by natural occurrences like childbirth or aging. Nonetheless, many women equate painful sex with a dread of sexually transmitted illnesses or feelings of inferiority.
If you have been having painful sex, you are not alone. Here's a closer look at some of the illnesses and symptoms associated with painful sex.
Possible Causes for Painful Sex
1. Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that can result in tears or fissures in the delicate skin of your vulva. This makes sex extremely painful. It is commonly caused by allergic reactions in women to fragrant soaps, lubricants, condoms, or douches.
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the interior of your uterus is present elsewhere in your body, most commonly in the pelvis. Symptoms can arise in unexpected ways, making diagnosis challenging. Symptoms may include upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, upper body pain, increased urination, or a severe stabbing feeling. These symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed as appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome, mental disease, or ovarian cysts.
This issue develops when chronic pain in your vulva lasts more than three months and is not caused by a general infection or medical condition. The sensation is commonly characterized as scorching, and it can be aggravated merely by sitting too long.
Some women with vaginitis have painful inflammation. It's usually caused by a bacterial or yeast infection. Some people get the syndrome following menopause or after contracting a skin ailment.
Vaginismus is a condition characterized by painful spasms and tightening of the vaginal muscles at the opening. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to insert a penis or sex toy. This ailment might have physical as well as emotional origins. Hormonal shifts, sex-related concerns, injuries, and skin diseases are all potential reasons. Many women with vaginismus have trouble using tampons and receiving pelvic exams.
6. Ovarian cysts
Women with bigger ovarian cysts may find that the penis aggravates them during intercourse. These cysts are sometimes torn open and release liquids. Ovarian cysts can be caused by an underlying illness, such as endometriosis, or they can form during pregnancy.
7. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID causes inflammation in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and womb. This makes sexual intercourse extremely painful. This ailment is frequently an indicator of a greater problem caused by an infection. It should be managed immediately.
Seeing your doctor
Your doctor can help you figure out what's causing your pain during sex. When speaking with your doctor, it's best to be specific. Try to provide specific information about where the pain is originating from and when it occurs. For example, does it happen before, after, or during sex?
Some women find that keeping a notebook that details their recent sexual history, sensations, and pain levels is beneficial. If you take notes on your symptoms, bring them with you to your appointment. Remember, your doctor wants to help you discover what's causing the pain and how to get it to stop.