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How To Diagnose Dyspareunia & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Diagnosis of Dyspareunia includes medical history, physical examination, and psychological evaluation.1

The differential diagnosis that involves both physiologic conditions, as well as psychosocial components for dyspareunia, is long because of its complicated and multifactorial nature.2

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved certain drugs to be used in the treatment of this condition.3, 4

Individuals with painful sex syndromes experience genital pain before or after sex in parts that include vagina, vulva, perineum, and clitoris. Dyspareunia is one of the most challenging complaints of women that affect a woman’s well-being and quality of life.

Although dyspareunia is the most common condition, yet the treatment can be difficult for the care team. A careful evaluation of painful sex must be carried out. The approach to this diagnosis includes an analysis of both male and female sexual organs and psychoanalysis by your healthcare provider.

How To Diagnose Dyspareunia?

How To Diagnose Dyspareunia?

Multiple tests help to diagnose this sexual disease. The differential diagnosis that involves both physiologic conditions, as well as psychosocial components for dyspareunia is long because of its complicated and multifactorial nature. Some of the most common questions your healthcare provider may ask are

  • The time and location of your pain?
  • Does the pain always occur in the same position or it varies?
  • Your doctor may even check if the pain is caused only by sexual activity or even triggered by other activities
  • Is your partner co-operative during your sexual intercourse.1

The patients should be ready to answer all these questions and also not to hesitate to talk about their past sexual experiences or assault during their childhood or later.

Based on your discussion, your doctor may suggest for

Pelvic Examination- When doctors want to access your gynecological health, they may suggest for a pelvic exam. It is part of your usual physical examination to determine the other factors such as the fibroids, ovarian cysts, initial stages of tumors, and other sexually transmitted infections.

Pap Test- Also known as pap smear is a procedure to check the presence of cervical cancer which is typically performed by collecting cells from your cervix. Early diagnosis of this cancer often provided a higher chance of recovery.

Other Tests- Certain tests like pelvic ultrasound, urine test, culture test, allergy test, and other sexual counseling aid in assessing the painful sex disease.2

What Is Best Medicine For Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia patients often wonder if there is any medicine to help improve their symptoms or ease their pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse. If yes, what is the best medicine for it? The US Food and Drug Administration has approved certain drugs to be used in the treatment of this condition.

The primary objective of treatment is to ease the discomfort and to restore vaginal and vulvar changes. The choice of treatment often depends on the underlying conditions and lifestyle modifications. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests treatment options that can treat moderate to severe symptoms of dyspareunia in postmenopausal women. When your pain is caused by sexual infection, you will be advised to take antibiotics, antifungal medicines, and treatable corticosteroids to restore natural lubrication and to reduce pain.

Several treatments for female sexual complications do not involve medical intervention and may require lubricants or moisturizers to prevent dryness and to provide tenderness to your vagina. In some instances, even low levels of estrogen may induce pain, during such cases, an over the counter medicine, cream or flexible ring can help deal with your pain.3,4


  1. Heim, Lori J. “Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis of Dyspareunia.” American Family Physician, 15 Apr. 2001, www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0415/p1535.htm .
  2. “Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse): Causes and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/192590.
  3. Kingsberg, Sa, et al. “Treating Dyspareunia Caused by Vaginal Atrophy: a Review of Treatment Options Using Vaginal Estrogen Therapy.” International Journal of Women’s Health, Dove Medical Press, 9 Aug. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971714/.
  4. “FDA OKs Drug for Postmenopausal Dyspareunia.” Medscape, 26 Feb. 2013, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/779916.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 25, 2022

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