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Painful Intercourse: Stop pain and reclaim intimacy

Stop painful intercourse and reclaim your sexual self.

If you have persistent or recurrent vaginal pain immediately before, during, or after intercourse, you may have a highly treatable condition called dyspareunia, or painful intercourse. There are many different causes for painful intercourse and many of them are easily treatable once identified by your provider. Women with dyspareunia can have pain inside the vaginal canal or outside the vagina in the clitoris, vulva or labia. The varying symptoms can be physical and related to hormonal issues, irregularities or illness, or they can be caused by psychological issues or even by stress.

There is no reason to suffer from the physical and emotional stress caused by painful intercourse. There are many effective natural and minimally invasive treatments available for the wide range of underlying causes.

What is considered painful intercourse?

Women may experience painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, in different ways. Being aware of your specific symptoms and when they occur can help your provider find the source of your pain.

Painful intercourse can include:

  • Pain only at vaginal penetration during intercourse
  • Pain with thrusting during intercourse
  • Post-sex pain that may throb
  • Pain that feels like an ache or a burning sensation

Causes of dyspareunia can include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Thin, easily injured vaginal lining
  • Weak and less elastic vaginal canal walls
  • Drugs including over-the-counter antihistamines and the cancer drug, tamoxifen
  • Endometriosis
  • Vulvar vestibulitis, a vaginal and vulvar inflammation
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Thin, easily injured vaginal lining
  • Weak and less elastic vaginal canal walls
  • Drugs including over-the-counter antihistamines and the cancer drug, tamoxifen
  • Endometriosis
  • Vulvar vestibulitis, a vaginal and vulvar inflammation
  • Skin disease such as lichen planus and lichen sclerosus,
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Yeast infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Psychological trauma, often stemming from sexual abuse or trauma
  • Allergic reactions to clothing, spermicides or douches
  • Skin disease such as lichen planus and lichen sclerosus,
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Yeast infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Psychological trauma, often stemming from sexual abuse or trauma
  • Allergic reactions to clothing, spermicides or douches

Helping Women Thrive, Not Just Survive.

Helping Women Thrive, Not Just Survive.

Talking to your doctor about painful intercourse

Your provider will be able to discuss a treatment plan based on what they find during your pelvic exam and overall assessment. Your doctor will want to talk to you about your sexual history and health. You may be asked if you have always experienced pain during intercourse, if you have tried over-the-counter lubricants to ease pain during intercourse and if your health history includes instances of sexual abuse or assault. Your doctor will also ask if you are experiencing menopausal symptoms breastfeeding or taking medications that could decrease estrogen production.

One common cause is vaginal atrophy, most often associated with a drop in estrogen production caused by menopause, breastfeeding, reproductive surgeries or specific cancer treatments.

Treating painful intercourse

Painful intercourse can stem from a wide range of causes, from vaginal dryness to sexually transmitted diseases to structural abnormalities to something as simple as a urinary tract infection. The first step is to identify the causes of your pain.

Treatment will vary according to your diagnosis, but here are some of the more common recommendations for relieving painful intercourse:

  • Changing your sexual routine with new positions, more extended foreplay and the use of lubricants can be an essential first step to stopping pain during intercourse.
  • Your doctor may recommend medications or advise you to do pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels.
  • diVa® vaginal rejuvenation laser therapy is a painless, non-invasive treatment with zero downtime and proven results for increasing vaginal tone, lubrication and overall function. Painful intercourse caused by lack of moisture, vaginal inflammation or thinning and sensitive vaginal walls can be treated with diVa® laser vaginal therapy to provide long-term relief.
  • ThermiVa® can also help relieve pain during intercourse. It uses radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue which leads to tightening, improved elasticity and blood flow. It is also helpful for those concerned about external skin laxity.

If you are having issues with painful intercourse, talk to the compassionate team at Integrative Wellness. We know that the impact of this struggle goes far beyond the purely sexual aspects of your self-confidence and your relationships. Dr. Stanislaus treats many patients suffering from dyspareunia and works with them to accurately diagnose and identify the causes behind their pain.

We want each woman to be free to enjoy intimate relationships without pain, fear or stress. Restore your sense of self and reclaim your sexual being!

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