How to treat dyspareunia?


Pain during sex - causes of dyspareunia

In the event of pain during sexual intercourse, the priority is to find the cause in order to benefit from the most suitable treatment. The doctors on  take stock of the possible causes and explain the necessary treatment.

Dyspareunia, what is it?

Sex, for both men and women, can sometimes be a source of concern. Although painful intercourse is more common in women, men can also experience what is called “dyspareunia”. It is a medical term for pain during or after sex. There are many reasons for this, both physically and psychically. Dyspareunia can manifest itself in different ways. Most often the symptoms are sensations of burning, cuts, itching or spasmodic contractions. These symptoms can spread over a very localized region of the intimate area or in a very diffuse manner. If these manifestations seem deep and intense to you, it is strongly recommended to seek the cause of them with the help of a health professional.

The first piece of advice that the doctors on  can give you is especially not to be embarrassed at the idea of ​​discussing it with a healthcare professional.

Possible causes of dyspareunia / Pain during sex

The symptoms you are experiencing may be indicative of the presence of a health problem that needs to be addressed. Here are the main reasons why you may experience pain during sex.

A sexually transmitted infection

An STI is an infection that is most often spread through unprotected sex. While some are now very well treated with antibiotics, some remain serious. In women, a sexually transmitted infection can manifest itself through intimate itching, especially at the entrance to the vagina, unusual vaginal discharge, and / or discomfort during intercourse. In humans, the infection may present more in the form of irritation, redness and a feeling of discomfort in the genitals. However, infections are often asymptomatic, meaning that you can be infected without showing visible signs of infection. An STI can therefore go unnoticed. It is therefore important to get tested to find out if you have been infected and, if necessary, to follow an appropriate treatment.

Most of the time, these are STIs like chlamydia or gonorrhea that can cause pain during sex. If you think you have an STI, see a healthcare professional or doctor on Livi. They can assess your situation with regard to a potential STI. They may also prescribe you a test which is the only way to check if you are infected.

Urinary tract infection

One third of women have at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, kidneys, and related tracts. There are several different urinary tract infections, from the simplest to the most severe. The most common urinary tract infection affects the bladder and is called cystitis. Although both men and children can suffer from it, it is more common in women. Indeed, the woman has a urethra shorter than that of the man, which facilitates the arrival of bacteria to the bladder. Which makes the woman more prone to UTIs.

The most common symptoms include a burning sensation when you want to urinate, the urge to go to the toilet more regularly, and cloudy or smelly urine. If the infection occurs regularly or if you have a temperature over 38 ° C and pain in the lower back or flanks, then it is no longer a simple infection and you should consult a doctor. health professional.

A consequence of menopause

During menopause, the drop in estrogen levels causes a reduction in vaginal discharge, which can cause vaginal dryness and make sex uncomfortable and even painful. These symptoms may also appear in the years before menopause, which is called perimenopause.

If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, it is first important to understand the reason before starting any treatment. Lubricants available in pharmacies can help reduce this dryness. But if the symptoms persist, other treatments are possible with a healthcare professional.

This phenomenon can also occur outside the menopause, in particular in pregnant women, in young mothers or during stressful situations, because of the taking of drugs, the consumption of alcohol or tobacco.

Skin condition

The skin can sometimes become sensitive during sex because of an irritant. It may, for example, be an allergy to latex, to a soap, or even to certain spermicides. In the event of a skin condition, such as eczema or dermatitis located at the entrance to the vagina or on the penis, it can be the cause of dry, cracked and chapped genital skin which can cause pain. during sex. As with vaginal dryness, silicone-based lubricants can help in the short term, but it is important that your GP treat the underlying skin condition.

The underlying medical causes

Here are some of the medical reasons why intercourse could be complicated by dyspareunia.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): This is the term used for widespread infection of the interior of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This disease usually affects women under the age of 24 and can cause pain during sex, pelvic or abdominal pain, vaginal discharge or bleeding. It requires treatment from a healthcare professional.

Endometriosis: About 1 in 10 women have endometriosis. Endometriosis means that uterine tissue is found outside the uterus. It can be located in the pelvis, ovaries, bladder, abdomen or even intestines. Symptoms are not always present, but when they do appear, they vary greatly depending on the woman. Although there is no known cure, different treatment methods can manage the symptoms and relieve pain.

Fibroids: These are benign growths in the uterus, which may be asymptomatic. But in some women, they can cause pain during sex, especially if they are large and located near the cervix. They can be detected through gynecological examinations. Solutions usually involve drug treatment prescribed by the general practitioner or gynecologist.

Phimosis in men: This is the phenomenon when the end of the foreskin, the small fold of skin surrounding the glans penis, prevents the glans from fully and easily retracting. Phimosis can cause pain during intercourse if it persists into adulthood and is left untreated. The discomfort can be improved by using condoms or lubricant, but if this is still a problem, it is best to talk to a general practitioner. A doctor in  can also direct you to the best care.

Inflammation of the prostate: This is called prostatitis. Very often, it also causes pain when urinating, frequent or urgent urination and pain on all the organs constituting the male genitalia. In case of acute prostatitis, a general practitioner should be consulted for antibiotic treatment.

Pain during intercourse is a common factor for a variety of causes, most of the time harmless, but in some cases it is possible that this pain is the subject of a more serious concern. Cancer of the cervix, for example, most of the time develops asymptomatically but can also cause pain during sex. This is why it is strongly recommended to investigate the cause of these pains. To learn more about this, there is an article dedicated to the prevention of cervical cancer.

Psychic causes

If pain during sex can be caused by pathologies, it also happens that these pains come from stress, anxiety, or apprehension. These factors can affect the lubrication of the vagina and make penetration painful or even impossible. These pains are common but can be resolved by contacting your partner. When these factors persist and develop severe pain, it is recommended that you speak to a healthcare professional.

When penetration is absolutely impossible we can speak of vaginismus. Its main causes are psychological. These are involuntary contractions of the perivaginal muscles. It is an uncontrolled reaction and yet there is no abnormality in the genitals. This phenomenon can take place for different reasons such as not being aware of the presence of the vagina or unconscious conflicts. Once the vaginismus is identified, the treatment consists rather of a psychological help to understand the cause at first.

How to treat dyspareunia?

As a first step, when you experience persistent pain during or after intercourse, it is recommended to investigate the cause. Treatment for dyspareunia depends on its origin. Since the possible causes are numerous, call a general practitioner, who will be able to direct you to the best possible care according to your symptoms.

To treat the cause of your pain, you may be advised to take medication, psychotherapy, hormone replacement or even surgery in some cases.