What is Dyspareunia and what do I do when I am experiencing pain during sex?
Sex is supposed to be an enjoyable experience shared by consenting partners. Though, sometimes, it is not comfortable or a pleasant feeling. Feeling pain during sex is not normal and can be a difficult situation to express to a partner or to a doctor.
Dyspareunia is the clinical term used to describe pain during sex, which usually affects women between the ages of 20 to 30 years old and women between the ages of 50 to 60 years old. When sex becomes painful, it isvery important to take action for both your health and physical enjoyment. Letting your partner know and reaching out to adoctor are important steps in recovering from the pain.
Treatment for Dyspareunia (Pain with Sex)
Depending on the person experiencing dyspareunia and the various symptoms that may come along with it, it can be addressed and treated in different ways. The first step in treatment is a diagnosis. Diagnosing dyspareunia begins with a thorough examination that looks at the patient’s medical background and the symptoms they are experiencing. Tests usually included in the diagnosing process are a urinalysis and urine culture, blood and vaginal swabs to screen
for sexually transmitted diseases and a possible cystourethroscopy. Through these tests, the doctor can usually find a cause of the pain.
Possible Causes of Dyspareunia:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), infections that occur along any part of the urinary system. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics.
- Erosion of an implantable mesh, if present in the patient.
- The presence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Atrophic Vaginitis or vaginal atrophic is a common condition that occurs when there is a decline in estrogen levels. A decline of estrogen leads to thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal wall tissue.
- Interstitial Cystitis, a painful bladder condition in which symptoms are suprapubic or perineal pain, pain when the bladder is full followed by relief after urination, dyspareunia and more.
- Tissue damage from radiation
- Organ prolapse
Treatment Options for Dyspareunia:
Different approaches for treating dyspareunia (painful intercourse) based on the age range of the patient may be applied, including:
- For women who are pre-menopausal or those between the ages of 20-30 years old, 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 or those between the ages of 50-60 years old, the use of supplemental estrogen (if appropriate) along with the use of water-based lubricants has proven effective. Additionally, a procedure we perform in our office using a specialized laser called MonaLisa Touch can be an effective treatment for post-menopausal symptoms, including painful intercourse.
What to Do if You Experience Pain with Sex
If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, there are options for hope recovery and the ability to resume a healthy enjoyable sex life. If you think you may be suffering from Dyspareunia or are experiencing pain or discomfort during sex, contact Dr. Howard Tay, a board-certified urologist who has practiced urology since 1996.
Set up an appointment today on his website or call 602-337-8500.