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Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)



Dyspareunia, or painful sex, may occur for many reasons ranging from psychological problems to structural issues. A lot of women have painful sex at one point or another in their sex life.


It may be described as recurrent or persistent pain that happens before, during or after sex, in the genital or pelvic area and can also lead to different relationship difficulties. While it may affect both men and women, it is more prevalent in women.


People living with painful sex may feel pain at only at the point of penetration or with every penetration. They may also feel pain as thrusting occurs or throbbing pain that persists hours after sex. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor for assessment as proper assessment and treatment can help your emotional intimacy, self esteem and even enhance your sex life.


Dyspareunia could result in relationship problems, loss of interest in sex and it may even affect your mood. It is often difficult to decipher what’s causing you pain during sex but some of the potential cause of dyspareunia include, infections, menopause, fibroids, dryness, bladder problems, childbirth, endometriosis, infections, skin conditions affecting the vulva, and many more.


Preventing pain during sex

Prevention of pain during sex is dependent on what the possible causes of the pain might be. A few things you can do to prevent dyspareunia include


  • Make use of water based lubricants
  • Engage in foreplay to better increase natural lubrication
  • Make use of oestrogren preparations if you’re postmenopausal and it’s been cleared as appropriate for you
  • As much as possible, practice safe sex to prevent STIs that may cause pain during sex.


Treatment of pain during sex

Managing or treating dyspareunia is usually not done without some form of individual or couples therapy. A lot of couples will benefit so much from the counseling they get even when the cause of their dyspareunia is medical or has even been solved.


  • Medical Examination

Consulting your doctor or a gynaecologist for a check-up is very important. These checkups will help to rule out or know when to treat other medical and physical conditions that may be causing pain during sex. It will often also confirm the cause of the pain experienced during sex.


  • Physical Therapy

Some women living with dyspareunia could make use of physical therapy to their own benefit. These physical therapists usually help to address inflammatory, musculoskeletal, sensory and neurological aspects of the illness or disease and their effects on normal functioning that may be affecting their patients.


  • Counselling/Therapy

There are confidential and professional counseling services all over Australia. Some of them specialize in relationship and health issues. They often have relationship counselors and sex therapists that offer support and counseling for women living with dyspareunia and their partners.


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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