WHAT IS IT?
Difficult or painful sexual intercourse for the female. Can affect
sexually active females of all ages.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Pain in the genital area during sexual activity, including foreplay,
intercourse or attempted intercourse. Pain may be mild or severe and it may vary from time
to time and positions.
Can be divided into Physical and Psychological
Physical causes include:
- Infection of the genitals, including herpes
involving the vagina,
cervix, fallopian tubes
- Pressure against the vaginal wall caused by scarring from operations or radiation treatment.
- A tight episiotomy scar from
vaginal repair after childbirth.
- A fibroid or other uterine tumor.
- A hymen
that is torn or thicker than normal.
- A bruised opening to the urethra.
- Inadequate vaginal or condom
- Allergic reactions to condoms or contraceptive foams and jellies.
- Dryness and thinness of the
vaginal wall after menopause.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Psychological / emotional causes include:
- Lack of proper sex education, sexual information and formation of wrong ideas.
- Fear of pregnancy.
- Fear of injury to the unborn child during pregnancy.
- Lack of sexual arousal and vaginal lubrication caused by inadequate or insufficient
sexual foreplay, aversion to the sexual partner, fatigue or anxiety.
- Past sexual injury or psychological trauma.
- Temporary lack of desire.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Recent illness.
- Fatigue or overwork.
HOW TO PREVENT
- Obtain prompt medical treatment if you have symptoms of infection of the reproductive
- Discontinue use of condoms, contraceptive foams or jellies that
produce allergic reactions.
- Obtain professional counseling to resolve feelings about past sexual trauma.
- Discuss the lack of sexual arousal with your partner, including ways to improve
foreplay. Enlist your partner's support and patience to overcome the problem. Use a
lubricant, if necessary.
EXPECTED HEALTH CARE
- Treatment of physical causes if any
- Psychotherapy or
counseling (sometimes), if the cause is psychological.
- Observation of typical symptoms.
- History and physical examination by a doctor.
- Laboratory studies, such as a Pap smear
and culture of any vaginal discharge.
Damage to inter-personal relationships, permanent inability to enjoy
sexual experiences and loss of self-esteem.
Depends on the cause. Medical disorders are usually curable with
treatment. Psychological problems can often be cured with therapy, and interpersonal
problems can improve with communication and patience.
- Sitz baths frequently relieve
tenderness. Sit in a tub of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat baths as often as 3 or
4 times a day.
- Use a non-prescription lubricant, such as baby oil or a Lubricating Jelly, during sexual
- Seek instructions, from your doctor or therapist, for exercises or techniques to dilate
- Try different positions for sexual intercourse to discover new ones that might reduce
penile penetration and be pain-free.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal
medications for underlying infection.
No restrictions. Resume sexual relations as soon as possible.
No special diet.
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF
- You notice symptoms of dyspareunia.
- Pain worsens, despite treatment.
- Symptoms don't disappear after 3 months of treatment.
| Vaginismus | Dyspareunia