Dyspareunia is a form of genital pain that occurs during sexual intercourse. It can happen during penetration or during thrusting. The pain may last after intercourse as well.
There may be multiple causes of dyspareunia (infection, physiological, or psychological). Often treatment is required to control or reduce dyspareunia. There are some natural ways to control the dyspareunia and diet may help. Natural remedies can mostly control or help manage the condition but cannot completely heal it.(1)
Making love may be a pleasant experience, but sometimes it can also cause pain in women, at the time of penetration or thrusting. This condition is known as dyspareunia. It is a genital pain that occurs during sexual intercourse and in more severe cases the pain may last after intercourse as well. The doctors call it “entry dyspareunia” when the pain is localized at the entrance of the vagina, and “deep dyspareunia” when it is located deep inside the vagina.(1)
Can Dyspareunia Go Away On Its Own?
Some causes of Dyspareunia can be trivial and may go away with time, thus your Dyspareunia may go away on its own. But dyspareunia which is persistent for more than weeks or months is unlikely to go away without treatment. In many cases, Dyspareunia is caused by conditioned rooted to the physical disorder that must be treated to cure the condition. Dyspareunia due to psychological issues needs counseling and behavioral therapy for the cure and minimizing symptoms. Usually, Dyspareunia can be treated with proper therapy and if you are suffering from it, you should seek medical help.
Dyspareunia generally disappears gradually, but you must be patient with the treatment because, in addition to the length specific to the treatment of certain pathologies (endometriosis or salpingitis for example), it takes a certain time of the order of a few weeks for this to become normal again. This is because of the psychological impact of the initial illness.(3) (4)
What Are The Natural Remedies For Dyspareunia?
Some natural ways to control the pain during sexual intercourse are:
Changing The Positions Of Having Sex: In the case of Dyspareunia at the time of thrusting or deep Dyspareunia, it is better to try other sex positions. Sometimes women on top position help as you may regulate or control the length of penetration that is not causing any pain.
It Is Important To Communicate With Your Partner: Always communicate with your partner about the pain during sexual intercourse. Talk with him to adjust the direction or speed.
Go Slow: It is not advisable to rush with the penetration. Have a long foreplay session to get stimulated and have enough natural lubrication. This may decrease the pain.
Use Artificial Lubricants: If there is not enough natural lubrication, you can always use artificial lubricants to improve penetration and reduce the pain. Try various artificial ones and see what suits you best.(5)
Common Causes Of Dyspareunia
The causes of dyspareunia are multiple in nature, ranging from physiological problems (infection or physical damage) to psychological concerns. Common causes of entry dyspareunia are as follows:
- Insufficient lubrication, which may be due to a lack of foreplays or sexual stimulation or a drop in the level of estrogens (common after menopause, after childbirth or during breastfeeding).
- Taking certain medications may also reduce estrogen levels such as antidepressants or other drugs
- Injury to the area
- Irritation in the vagina due to various reasons
- Infection at the vulva or vagina region, or inflammation in these areas
- Vaginismus (involuntary contractions of the perineum);
- A birth defect
When the pain is localized deeper causing deep Dyspareunia, it can be due to the following reasons:
- The presence of ovarian cysts
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- A retroverted uterus (when the uterus is oriented backward, while it is in the majority of women lying on the bladder)
- Scars from pelvic surgery.(2) (3)
Common Treatment Options For Dyspareunia
To overcome dyspareunia, the cause must be identified correctly and subsequently treated. Some of the measures are:
- The use of lubricants
- Anti-infective treatment in case of infection (antibiotics or antifungal drugs)
- Hormone therapy if the cause is an estrogen deficiency
- Behavior therapy for psychological issues
With the help of your partner, it is possible to minimize pain during intercourse. Such interventions include:
- Having good communication within the couple
- Changing positions of sexual intercourse
- Devoting significant time to foreplays before sex.(4)
- De Graaff A, Van Lankveld J, Smits L, Van Beek J, Dunselman G. Dyspareunia and depressive symptoms are associated with impaired sexual functioning in women with endometriosis, whereas sexual functioning in their male partners is not affected. Human reproduction. 2016;31(11):2577-2586.
- Labrie F, Archer DF, Koltun W, et al. Efficacy of intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on moderate to severe dyspareunia and vaginal dryness, symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy, and of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Menopause. 2018;25(11):1339-1353.
- Rosen NO, Pukall C. Comparing the prevalence, risk factors, and repercussions of postpartum genito-pelvic pain and dyspareunia. Sexual medicine reviews. 2016;4(2):126-135.
- Portman D, Goldstein S, Kagan R. Treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia with intravaginal prasterone therapy: a review. Climacteric. 2019;22(1):65-72.
- Schwartz ASK, Gross E, Geraedts K, et al. The use of home remedies and complementary health approaches in endometriosis. Reproductive biomedicine online. 2019;38(2):260-271.
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