PWH Fertility Evaluations

Painful Sex? There Are Solutions

Jan 01, 2021
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Is intercourse painful for you? You don’t have to let it be any longer. Read on to learn what can cause painful intercourse and discover some of the solutions that are available.

Sex should be a source of pleasure, not pain. If you’re experiencing painful intercourse — called dyspareunia — it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right. From psychological issues to physical problems, there are many potential causes of dyspareunia.  

Treating your underlying condition is essential in making sex pain-free again. That’s why it’s important to discuss your symptoms with a board-certified OB/GYN, like Asia Mohsin, MD, at Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis. 

As part of our team’s comprehensive line of gynecological services, we offer help for women experiencing painful sex.

Why is sex painful for me?

The majority of women — more than 75% — have pain during sex at some point. Most of the time, vaginal dryness is the cause. But for some women, painful sex can become a chronic problem or be quite severe.  

Pain during intercourse can be caused by more than one factor. Gynecologic diseases, infections, physical or structural problems, problematic sexual responses, low libido, and psychological concerns can all contribute to painful sex.

Dr. Mohsin knows that diagnosing the cause of painful sex is imperative to successful treatment. After reviewing your medical history, conducting a physical exam, reviewing imaging studies and/or blood work, and discussing your symptoms, she’ll provide a diagnosis.

Some factors that could lead to painful intercourse include the following: 

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Genital herpes
  • Vaginitis
  • Vaginismus
  • Infections
  • Fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis

Another reason many women have pain during sex is due to hormonal issues related to menopause or having a baby. Estrogen is an important hormone, and it helps your vaginal skin stay moist, thick, and elastic, which, in turn, helps prevent sex from becoming painful. If the amount of estrogen your body produces changes, such as during pregnancy and lactation, you may experience problems during sex.  

This is especially true for women in perimenopause and menopause, when estrogen production declines quite a bit. The lower estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal tissues, and reduced elasticity. It can also cause fragility, dryness, and laxity. The result? Painful intercourse. 

Are there solutions for painful sex?

Yes. However, it’s important to remember that the right solution for painful sex depends on the root cause. Once Dr. Mohsin determines what’s behind the painful intercourse you’re experiencing, she’ll create a customized treatment plan for you.  

Some possible treatments for painful intercourse include:

  • Water-based lubricants for addressing dryness
  • Antibiotics for infections and STDs
  • Antifungal medications for yeast infections
  • Topical corticosteroids for inflammation
  • Hormone-based medications and patches for low estrogen levels
  • Osphena™ for menopausal women (oral medication)
  • Intrarosa® for menopausal women (vaginal medication)

You don’t have to live with painful sex. To put an end to it and make it enjoyable again, book an appointment online or over the phone with Progressive Women’s Health today. We also offer telemedicine appointments, so you can meet with us from the safety of your own home.