Dyspareunia is that the term for recurring pain within the genital area or within the pelvis during sexual activity. The pain can be sharp or intense. It can occur before, during, or after sexual activity.
Dyspareunia is more common in women than men. It has many possible causes, but it are often treated.
What causes dyspareunia?
Several conditions can cause dyspareunia. For some women, it’s a sign of a physical problem. Other women may experience pain as a results of emotional factors.
Common physical causes of dyspareunia include:
Ø skin disorders that cause ulcers, cracks, itching, or burning
Ø infections, such as yeast or urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Ø injury or trauma from childbirth, an accident, an episiotomy, a hysterectomy, or pelvic surgery
Ø vulvodynia, or pain centered in the vulva area
Ø vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina
Ø vaginismus, or a spontaneous tightening of the muscles of the vaginal wall
Ø pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Ø uterine fibroids
Ø irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Ø radiation and chemotherapy
Factors that reduce concupiscence or affect a person’s ability to become aroused also can cause dyspareunia. These factors include:
Ø stress, which can result in tightened muscles of the pelvic floor
Ø fear, guilt, or shame related to sex
Ø self-image or body issues
Ø medications such as birth control pills
Ø relationship problems
Ø conditions such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disease
Ø history of sexual abuse or rape
What are the symptoms of dyspareunia?
Dyspareunia pain can vary. Pain may occur:
Ø in the vagina, urethra, or bladder
Ø during penetration
Ø during or after intercourse
Ø deep in the pelvis during intercourse
Ø after pain-free intercourse
Ø only with specific partners or circumstances
Ø with tampon use
Ø along with burning, itching, or aching
Ø with a feeling of stabbing pain, similar to menstrual cramps
Who’s at risk for dyspareunia?
Both women and men can experience dyspareunia, but the condition is more common in women. Dyspareunia is one among the foremost common problems of postmenopausal women.
Around 75 percent of girls have painful intercourse at a while , consistent with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). You’re at an increased risk if you:
Ø take medications that cause vaginal dryness
Ø have a viral or bacterial infection
Ø are postmenopausal
How’s dyspareunia diagnosed?
Several tests help doctors identify and diagnose dyspareunia. Your doctor will start by creating a complete medical and sexual history. Possible questions your doctor may ask you include:
Ø When and where do you feel pain?
Ø Which partners or positions cause pain?
Ø Do any other activities cause pain?
Ø Does your partner want to help?
Ø Are there other conditions that may be contributing to your pain?
A pelvic examination is also common in diagnosis. During this procedure, your doctor will check out the external and internal pelvic area for signs of:
Ø inflammation or infection
Ø anatomical problems
Ø genital warts
Ø abnormal masses
The internal examination would require a speculum, a tool wont to view the vagina during a Pap test . Your doctor also may use a cotton swab to use slight pressure to different areas of the vagina. This will help determine the location of the pain.
The initial examinations may lead your doctor to request other tests, such as:
Ø pelvic ultrasound
Ø culture test to check for bacteria or yeast infection
Ø urine test
Ø allergy test
Ø counseling to determine the presence of emotional causes
There’s no specific prevention for dyspareunia. But you'll do the subsequent to scale back the danger of pain during intercourse:
Ø After childbirth, wait at least six weeks before resuming sexual intercourse.
Ø Use a water-soluble lubricant when vaginal dryness is an issue.
Ø Use proper hygiene.
Ø Get proper routine medical care.
Ø Prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) by using condoms or other barriers.
Ø Encourage natural vaginal lubrication with enough time for foreplay and stimulation.
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