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What is dyspareunia?
How is it caused?
How is it treated?
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
  • What is dyspareunia?

    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.

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