Painful intercourse or dyspareunia (pronounced dis-pah-ROO-nee-uh) can happen at any age but is more prevalent among post-menopausal women. The pain can occur before, during or after sex.
Pain during sex can range from mild to excruciating. It can start suddenly or develop gradually. Some women experience extreme tenderness in the opening to the vagina (vulva pain) during penetration.
Others describe it as an extreme burning, stinging sharpness (like a knife is plunged inside the vagina) whereas other women feel it as pain deep in the pelvis. Sex can hurt during every sexual act or only occasionally.
Painful intercourse could affect a woman psychologically and physically too.
Anticipation of the pain can cause her to avoid and lose interest in sex. Just thinking of sex or her partner’s initiation of sex can trigger the notion of pain and her vagina tightening up.
1. Hormonal imbalance
A decline in vaginal estrogen production caused by:-
are the main reasons for fluctuating hormone levels.
Estrogen is the hormone that nourishes and hydrates the vagina. Loss in estrogen causes the vaginal tissues to be thinner, less elastic and less lubricated. Hence, vaginal penetration is very uncomfortable.
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2. Inadequate foreplay
Foreplay helps a
couple to be relaxed and aroused. Teach your partner to concentrate on stimulating your clitoris. Your vagina will dilate and lubricate easily.
Apply the Manjakani Feminine Gel (as shown on the left) as part of foreplay and sex should not be painful but pure enjoyment !
Vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, vaginal yeast infections, atrophic vaginitis and urinary tract infections are also causes of painful sex.
The burning and itching sensations are intensified when the penis rubbed against the vagina.
Uterine prolapse aka "fallen womb" occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and can no longer support the uterus. The uterus descend and protrude out of the vagina.
When this happens, there is an increase in vaginal discharge and sex can be very painful.
Uterine prolapse can be rectified by:-
Dyspareunia is also linked to STDs such as Chlamydia, vaginal genital herpes and vaginal warts. Besides being very contagious the shedding of the virus during a herpes and genital warts breakout can result in very painful intercourse.
Reduce your risk of STDs by practicing safe sex and using male or female condoms.
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Vaginal irritation caused by allergic
reactions to chemicals in scented feminine hygiene products such as douches,
soaps, deodorant and sprays.
Nylon underwear and tight pants can lead to rawness and itchy in the vagina. All it takes is a little “chaffing by the penis” to rob you of good and pleasurable sex.
Avoid the problem by cleansing with the mild herbal feminine wash (as shown) and wear comfortable cotton panties and pants.
Sex hurts the first few times when the hymen is thick or unstretched. This can be easily solved with lots of tender, intimate touches especially the clitoris to get the vagina well lubricated before penetration.
However, some women might suffer from a more severe condition known as vaginismus. This is the involuntary spasms (tightening up) of the vagina muscles which can make penetration with either penis, fingers or tampons to be painful and impossible.
For treating vaginismus, doctors most frequently recommend vaginal dilation with dilators . Vaginal dilators are tampon-shaped devices that are inserted into the vagina to train your pelvic floor muscles to relax, stretch the vagina tissues and keep them pliable.
Pain coming from deep in the pelvis, rather than the entrance of the vagina are usually associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometrosis (where tissues similar to the womb lining starts growing outside the womb), hemorrhoids and ovarian cyst.
These conditions can lead to infertility problems so it is best to consult an obstetrician immediately.
Painful intercourse is reversible and should not be a hindrance to pleasurable sex. If the problems persist ask your doctor about pelvic floor physical therapy. For some women therapy combined with the recommendations mentioned here has enabled them to enjoy love making again.Back to top
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