(Painful Sexual Intercourse)
- Postpartum period after childbirth
- Vaginal infections, such as yeast vaginitis
- Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis—irritation of the vaginal mucosa due to lack of estrogen
- Herpes or genital warts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease—serious infection of the female reproductive organs
- Urinary tract infection
- Problems affecting the pelvic bones
- Chronic constipation
- Previous sexual trauma, such as rape or abuse
- Feelings of guilt
- Negative attitudes toward sex
- Inflammation of the foreskin
- Loss of elasticity of the foreskin
- Trauma to the penis
- Herpes or genital warts
- Local allergies or irritations
- Curvature of the penis caused by Peyronie's disease
- Being postmenopausal
- Taking medications that produce a vaginal dryness
- Prior vaginal surgery
- Occur during or after sex
- Be itching, burning, stabbing, or aching
Be located in the:
- Occur during all phases of sexual contact
- May also occur with tampon use—fabric absorbs natural vaginal lubricant
|Female Reproductive System|
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Your vaginal wall will be checked for:
- Signs of dryness
- Genital warts
An internal pelvic exam will be done to look for:
- Abnormal pelvic masses
- Signs of endometriosis
- Your doctor may suggest more tests. They may include cultures to find infections. Imaging studies like an ultrasound may also be used.
- You may be referred to a counselor. This will help to determine whether psychological issues may be a cause.
- Your doctor may recommend that you use water-soluble lubricants or creams that contain estrogen. Other medications may be prescribed, as well.
- Infections may be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medication.
- Inflammation and dermatitis may be treated with topical or injectable corticosteroids.
- Viral infections like herpes and genital warts will need to be treated.
- Endometriosis may be treated with medications. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
- Antibiotic treatment
- Sitz baths—soaking the hip and buttocks area in warm water
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine, which may be helpful for prostatitis
Men and Women
- Inner conflict
- Unresolved feelings about past abuse
- Need for self-punishment
- Wait at least 6 weeks before having sexual relations after childbirth. It may be necessary to use a lubricant because of hormonal changes causing vaginal dryness.
- Use proper hygiene and get routine medical care.
- Practice safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted diseases .
- Adequate foreplay and stimulation will help to ensure proper lubrication of the vagina.
- Use a water-soluble lubricant. Vaseline should not be used as a lubricant. It is not water-soluble, and it may encourage vaginal infections.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
FamilyDoctor.org—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Sex Information and Education Council of Canada http://www.sieccan.org
Sexuality and U—Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sexualityandu.ca
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology. Female sexual dysfunction. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117(4):996-1007. Reaffirmed 2015.
Female sexual dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116816/Female-sexual-dysfunction. Updated June 27, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.
Heim LJ. Evaluation and differential diagnosis of dyspareunia. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(8):1535-1544.
Jackson E, Smith MA. Dyspareunia. Essential Evidence Plus website. Available at: http://www.essentialevidenceplus.com. Accessed December 11, 2015.
Lightner DJ. Female sexual dysfunction. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002;77(7):698-702.
- Reviewer: Karli-Rae Kerrschneider, RN
- Review Date: 12/2015 -
- Update Date: 12/11/2015 -