Dyspareunia means pain during intercourse. It can be caused by a variety of reasons such as local infection, hormonal changes with aging, or an allergy caused by the use of personal care products.
How is it caused?
Tipped or retroverted uterus: Some women with a tipped uterus experience pain during intercourse. The penis may hit the cervix or uterus during sex causing pain. This condition is known as collision dyspareunia.
Endometriosis: The endometrium, which is the tissue lining the uterus, may grow outside the uterus causing deep pain during sex.
Infection: Bacterial or yeast infections may result in pain during intercourse.
Vulvodynia:This is a condition in which the vulva becomes sensitive and tender to touch.
Drugs: Common drugs used for allergy, high blood pressure or depression may affect the amount of vaginal lubrication, sexual arousal and desire. A dry vagina results in pain during intercourse.
Physical problems: An abdominal surgery or a scar during delivery can cause a lot of pain during intercourse.
Pelvic floor myalgia: Involuntary contractions of the pelvic muscles can result in difficult and uncomfortable sex.
Emotional issues: Sometimes, past experiences such as sexual abuse or other psychological problems can be a cause of pain during sex
How is it treated?
The treatment options may depend upon the results of the pelvic examination and other diagnostic tests. The various treatment options include:
A changed position in case of a tipped uterus, may allow the uterus to move away resulting in a more comfortable intercourse.
In case of infections medications may be given either orally or as vaginal pessaries.
If the problem is caused by insufficient lubrication of the vagina, a cream or jelly may be used to reduce the pain.
Relaxation exercises may help regain control over vaginal muscles. This may help in reducing pain during sexual intercourse.
If the diagnostic tests determine that a tipped uterus or endometriosis may be responsible for the pain, surgery may be suggested.