Achieving a place of mutual respect and affection with a significant other is one of the most fulfilling life experiences a person can have. And when that experience is hindered by pain, there is little else that holds your attention throughout the day. If you’re affected by painful intercourse, it’s therefore essential to attempt to find the source of the problem as soon as it becomes an issue.
One of the first things to establish in analyzing painful intercourse is, does the pain emanate from deep within or is the pain centralized closer to the vaginal opening? This, of course, is a difficult question to answer, as pain in this region can easily diffuse across specifics, but recognizing the nature of the pain can better help in understanding its origins.
Surface Pain: Feminine Dryness
Perhaps the most common cause of pain during intercourse is a result of feminine dryness. Feminine dryness can stem from a multitude of issues, both psychosomatic and hormonal loss, most specifically to a decrease in estrogen stores.
Disruptions in the body’s estrogen levels, especially around the time of the menopausal transition, can have a significant effect on vaginal moisture levels—in fact, over 50 percent of North American women reported some type of feminine dryness as the leading symptom of menopause.
Vaginismus, (the commonly used term for genito-pelvic pain penetration disorders) a condition characterized by the involuntary tightening of muscles around the vaginal wall and involuntary spasms caused by a heightened sense of fear of pain, can also prevent penetration and impact overall sexual arousal. A woman may have both vaginal dryness and vaginismus at the same time.
Possible Solutions for Feminine Dryness
Fortunately, feminine dryness is an issue that is easily resolved. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one of the most helpful solutions to feminine dryness is to deal with the problem on the spot with an over the counter lubricant or vaginal moisturizer. Shy away from baby oil, petroleum jelly, or mineral oil when using a condom, as these can dissolve latex and increase the likelihood that the condom will break. In addition, if you are suffering from dryness you may choose to avoid lubricants or condoms that are flavored or have other additives that can exacerbate your uncomfortable dryness feeling.
Additional treatments include prolonged foreplay that induces personal moisture, maintaining proper nutrition, quitting smoking, relaxation exercises, and reassessing certain prescription drugs like antidepressants, oral contraceptives or allergy medications that can affect feminine moisture. Most importantly it is imperative that the woman who has vaginal or vulvar dryness seek out a comprehensive medical evaluation from her primary care provider or gynecologist. Not all dryness is merely dryness and a physical examination is warranted.
Deep Pain: Inflammation and Pregnancy
Sometimes painful intercourse comes from an issue that lies deeper than the vaginal walls.
Cysts on the ovaries, endometriosis (endometrial tissue outside of the uterus) or genital or pelvic infections are common causes for pain. In many cases, deep pain might be an indicator of inflammation. Whether the inflammation is located in the bladder or the vulva and vagina, the hyper-sensitivity of aggravated tissue could be the root of the pain. Pelvic inflammatory disease, for example, which severely inflames deep pelvic tissue, can be profoundly affected by the pressure of intercourse. Some women experience chronic inflammation of the bladder, which can also result in painful intercourse.
Pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, Chlamydia or herpic, sores and genital warts, top the list of other factors that influence sensitivity during sex.
Deep Pain Solutions
Treatment for deep pain varies according to each individual case.
For chronic inflammation, doctors can prescribe medication to ease the symptoms, or suggest bladder washings and electric stimulation. Vulvovaginitis, inflammation of the vulva and vagina, is often easily treated with lubricating gels and over-the-counter medication.
Upon serious cases of deep internal pain, surgery might be the best option. Consult your health care provider to discuss the ideal approach for your personal needs.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.