Dyspareunia causes pain during sexual intercourse in women. It is not fatal but can cause serious psychological and relationship issues. Common treatment includes the use of pain-relieving medications and lubrication during sexual intercourse. Other treatments include desensitization and counseling.(1)
Is Dyspareunia A Serious Condition?
In case you are suffering from recurrent pain at the time of sexual activity, it is better to consult your doctor immediately. Dyspareunia is not a fatal condition but it can cause serious psychological and relationship issues. Delay in treatment can further complicate the issues. Dyspareunia is treatable and the proper treatment can assist you in maintaining good sex life while also improving your self-image, confidence, and emotional relationships. In the sense, even though it is not a life-threatening condition, it is a serious illness hampering the normal sex life and emotional relationship among the partners.(2)
Can Dyspareunia Be Reversed?
Dyspareunia can be resolved by treatment, and some symptoms may be relieved only by understanding the cause. Therefore, if you are suffering from dyspareunia, first see a gynecologist.
To treat dyspareunia, the gynecologist needs to know the possibility of infection or other causes that may trigger dyspareunia. Your physician will also try to understand whether there are normal understanding and cooperation between the partners.
Depending on the condition and cause behind Dyspareunia your physician will decide on the use of medications or psychotherapy. Regarding insensitivity, it is perceived according to the common concept as medically, there is no specific normal range of sexual pleasure in women. Moreover, the diagnostic criteria for insensitivity are not clear.
This is why the treatment options will be considered as per the reason behind the pain.(3)
Common Medications For Dyspareunia
Finding the infection causing the pain is important. If your doctor can identify the cause of infection then suitable medications will be prescribed. Often the use of lubrication solves the problem to a large extent.
Inadequate lubrication may lead to dyspareunia in many middle-aged women after menopause due to low levels of estrogen. Sometimes your doctor may suggest the topical application of estrogen directly on your vagina.
Some approved drugs can be used to improve vaginal lubrication such as ospemifene, which mimics topical estrogen application. There are, however, some side-effects including a heightened risk of heart attack, hot flashes, uterus wall cancer, and blood clots.
A capsule form medication containing prasterone (similar to the above drug) is also available that needs to be placed every day inside your vagina.(4) (5)
Other Types Of Treatments For Dyspareunia
Dyspareunia can be managed by using several therapies without using any medications. Certain vaginal exercises may be practiced to control pain and discomfort.
Doctors often advise sex counseling to manage the adverse emotional effects and responses to sexual stimulation. This type of therapy is even important when you are having medications for dyspareunia. Such therapies also help in maintaining better relationships between the partners in times of distress due to dyspareunia and might also help increase sexual intimacy.
You should also consider talking with sex therapists or counselors to manage this issue. Some patients got good outcomes from cognitive behavioral therapy that promotes positive thinking.(5)
Dyspareunia is a pain in women during sexual intercourse. It can also be a sharp pain or tingling sensation near the genitals and in the deep pelvis region. The pain is similar to cramps during menstruation. There are many causes, but each has its effective treatment, so please consult your doctor.
The unpleasant symptoms associated with sexual activity are commonly referred to as sexual disorders. Pain and insensitivity during sexual intercourse are difficult to manage as it hampers sexual pleasure during intercourse despite having sexual desire.(1)
Dyspareunia has two types of entry and deep. In the first type, pain occurs during initial penetration or entry, while in case of deep the pain is more in the depth of the vagina. Dyspareunia can be due to infection, lower abdominal surgery, and vaginal surgery, or due to lack of estrogen in the middle-aged women. There is also a possibility of dyspareunia due to psychological problems such as general sexual activity, anxiety/disgust with partners, and depression of the person. Whatever the cause dyspareunia can cause serious irritation and hindrance to the normal sex life of the person.
- Lee NM, Jakes AD, Lloyd J, Frodsham LC. Dyspareunia. Bmj. 2018;361:k2341.
- Varagnolo D, Knorn S, Melles R, Dewitte M. Qualitative modeling of pressure vs. pain relations in women suffering from dyspareunia. IFAC-PapersOnLine. 2017;50(1):2043-2050.
- Trahan J, Leger E, Allen M, et al. The Efficacy of Manual Therapy for Treatment of Dyspareunia in Females: A Systematic Review. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. 2019;43(1):28-35.
- Arthur B, Chung MK, Brobyn T, LaRiccia PJ. Successful Treatment of Dyspareunia with an Integrative Medicine Approach: A Case Report. Integrative Medicine. 2019;18(6):38-41.
- Portman D, Goldstein S, Kagan R. Treatment of moderate to severe dyspareunia with intravaginal prasterone therapy: a review. Climacteric. 2019;22(1):65-72.
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