Pain during intercourse which is also known as dyspareunia can be attributed to many causes. Dyspareunia is pain experienced by a woman in the vagina, pelvis or labia during sexual intercourse. Pain should not be ignored; rather the cause of the pain should be identified and treated.
Medical Conditions that can be the Cause of Pain during Intercourse
There are many conditions that can be the cause of pain during intercourse. These conditions could be internal or external conditions. This list is not totally inclusive but a sampling of conditions that may cause pain during intercourse.
Infections – Vaginal infections such as yeast infections or trichomoniasis and genital herpes. They may be without noticeable symptoms until the penis rubs against the walls of the vagina during intercourse.
Endometriosis – The lining of the uterus abnormally attaches to the pelvic region or into the vagina. The condition can usually be treated with medication or the excess tissue surgically removed if the pain is severe.
Cystitis or Bladder infections – Inflammation of the bladder can cause pain in the pelvic region. The pain tends to increase during sexual activity as the deep penetration can apply extra pressure to inflamed tissues.
Vulvodynia – inflamed vulva which can cause a burning sensation during intercourse.
Abnormal structure or growths in the pelvic region – Adhesions, ovarian cysts, prolapsed of the uterus or bladder and others.
Hormonal Imbalance can be the Cause of Pain during Intercourse
Changes in hormones can occur naturally or due to medications or result from surgical removal of the ovaries. They occur naturally as a woman ages when the amount of estrogen the body produces decreases. Hormonal changes can lead to vaginal dryness which can cause pain during intercourse. Many women find using a lubricant to be helpful. Others find a more permanent solution talking to their doctor about hormone replacement therapy such as estrogen cream.
When to Consult your Doctor about the Cause of Pain during Intercourse
If you are experiencing pain after intercourse or during intercourse in which you have previously not had pain you will need to consult with your physician. If you previously had pain and it is becoming more unbearable or if you experience bleeding or a discharge after intercourse you should see your doctor. If you are experiencing increased pain and nausea, vomiting or rectal pain following vaginal intercourse you should seek medical advice.