Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sex and involves the experience of pain with sexual intercourse. It is defined as pain in the genitals leading up to, during, or immediately following sex. The condition can affect both men and women, and are more common in women.
The causes of pain include sexually transmitted disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, some forms of cancer sensitivity in the vaginal tissue due to hormone changes, and muscular spasms in the pelvic floor muscles referred to as vaginismus.
If you experience pain with sex a visit to your doctor or nurse practitioner is in order. It is important to screen for potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer or sexually transmitted infections and disease.
If initially testing comes back negative for disease or infection, then pain is most likely associated with sensitivity in the vagina or muscle spasms of the pelvic floor. The good news is that both of these conditions is treatable and it is possible to have pain free sex with the help of a pelvic physical therapist and potentially a sexual counselor.
Women who experience sensitivity of the vagina and vaginal region often have hormone disturbances leading to vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls. This often occurs after childbirth, during the period of breast feeding, and surrounding menopause.
A physician may recommend hormone replacements, dietary changes, and use of a good water based personal lubricant to protect the vulva, vaginal opening, and vagina itself.
Learn more about How To Pick A Personal Lubricant
Vaginal balm may also be beneficial to soothe irritated, red, or itchy skin in the vulva region and vaginal opening. Naturally made products such as Intimate Rose's Organic Feminine Balm help to reduce irritation and soothe dry, itchy, red, or irritated skin around the vaginal opening due to changes in hormone changes, skin sensitivity, shaving, waxing, or tenderness after sex.
Learn more about Organic Feminine Balm for the Vulva and Vaginal opening
Vaginismus is a condition involving vaginal tightness that causes pain, burning, cramping, spasms, and difficulty or inability to have sex. Women who experience vaginismus often feel fear, anxiety, avoidance of sex due to pain.
The body produces protective behaviors such as muscular guarding or clenching of the muscles in the pelvic floor, buttocks, hips, thighs, neck, chest, and shoulders. Thankfully there are gentle treatment methods that are helpful to reducing pain with sex.
This includes the use of use of dilators and pelvic physical therapy. Pelvic physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy done with a highly trained pelvic physical therapist. Counseling and other forms of behavioral therapy are also beneficial in helping to reach one’s goals for pain free intercourse.
Vaginal dilators are used to gently train the body- both the brain and the muscles to relax to allow penetration during sex. The Intimate Rose Dilators come in a variety of sizes to allow women to gently and progressively improve the elasticity and size of the vaginal vault to allow for pain-free sex.
Use of breathing techniques and daily practice with Vaginal Dilators is an effective treatment for Vaginismus, Vestibulodynia, post surgical vaginal pain, post chemo and radiation vaginal pain, muscle spasms, lichen sclerosis, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, MRKH, and gender affirming surgical procedures.
Learn how Breathing Techniques Affect Vaginal Pain
To find a Pelvic Physical Therapist in your area visit http://pt.womenshealthapta.org/