Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyspareunia
Dyspareunia is pain during sex. It is very common challenge expressed by many of our female patients. It primarily affects two age groups: women ages 20-30 years of age and those 50-60 years old.
Causes of Dyspareunia
Common causes of dyspareunia include:
- Atrophic vaginitis
- Urinary tract infection
- Interstitial cystitis
- Erosion of implantable mesh
- Tissue damage from radiation
- Organ prolapse
- Urethral abscess / vaginal cysts
- Sexual transmitted diseases
Confirming dyspareunia, and ruling out other possible concerns, includes:
- A detailed history and a thorough examination
- Urinalysis and urine culture
- Blood and vaginal swabs to screen for sexually transmitted diseases
Treatment for Dyspareunia
Treatment for dyspareunia varies tremendously. If a direct cause of the pain is identified, such as a urinary tract infection or a urethral abscess, then treatment for the specific disorder will usually resolve the condition.
Otherwise, it may require a multimodality approach depending on the circumstances:
- For women who are pre-menopausal, the solution may be pelvic floor relaxation with the help of a physical therapist along with the use of water-based lubricants.
- For others who are post-menopausal, the use of supplemental estrogen (if appropriate) along with the use of water-based lubricants has been proved effective.
If there is significant vaginal and/or pelvic organ prolapse then repair of this condition may be necessary to address.