Painful Intercourse Kansas City
What is painful intercourse (dyspareunia)?
Painful intercourse can occur for reasons that range from structural problems to psychological concerns. Many women have painful intercourse at some point in their lives. The medical term for painful intercourse is dyspareunia (dis-puh-ROO-nee-uh), defined as persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse. Women with this condition may feel the following: pain with penetration, deep pain during thrusting, burning pain or aching pain, or throbbing pain lasting hours after intercourse.
What are some of the causes of painful intercourse?
Physical causes of painful intercourse differ, depending on whether the pain occurs at entry or with deep thrusting. Emotional factors might be associated with many types of painful intercourse. A thorough exam will often help to identify causes, which can be treated to decrease pain and improve intimacy.
Entry pain may be associated with a range of factors including but not limited to the following:
- Not enough lubrication. This is often the result of not enough foreplay. A drop in estrogen levels after menopause or childbirth or during breast-feeding also can be a cause.
Certain medications are known to affect sexual desire or arousal, which can decrease lubrication and make sex painful. These include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, antihistamines and certain birth control pills.
- Injury, trauma or irritation. This includes injury or irritation from an accident, pelvic surgery, female circumcision or a cut made during childbirth to enlarge the birth canal (episiotomy).
- Inflammation, infection or skin disorder. An infection in your genital area or urinary tract can cause painful intercourse. Eczema or other skin problems in your genital area also can be the problem.
- Vaginismus. These involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall can make penetration painful.
- Congenital abnormality. A problem present at birth, such as the absence of a fully formed vagina (vaginal agenesis) or development of a membrane that blocks the vaginal opening (imperforate hymen), could cause dyspareunia.
Deep pain usually occurs with deep penetration. It might be worse in certain positions. Causes include:
- Certain illnesses and conditions. The list includes endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine prolapse, retroverted uterus, uterine fibroids, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction, adenomyosis, hemorrhoids and ovarian cysts.
- Surgeries or medical treatments. Scarring from pelvic surgery, including hysterectomy, can cause painful intercourse. Medical treatments for cancer, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can cause changes that make sex painful.
Emotions are deeply intertwined with sexual activity, so they might play a role in sexual pain. Emotional factors include:
- Psychological issues. Anxiety, depression, concerns about your physical appearance, fear of intimacy or relationship problems can contribute to a low level of arousal and a resulting discomfort or pain.
- Stress. Your pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten in response to stress in your life. This can contribute to pain during intercourse.
- History of sexual abuse. Not everyone with dyspareunia has a history of sexual abuse, but if you have been abused, it can play a role
Painful intercourse can be multifactorial and requires a trained specialist to identify the cause and develop a treatment plan. At Urogynecology of Kansas City we are dedicated to ensuring that you experience the relief you deserve. Contact our office to speak with a team member and book your prolapse evaluation.