Dyspareunia refers to persistent or recurrent genital painbefore, during or after sexual intercourse. The pain can be either superficial or deep. Dyspareunia is more common in women than in men.
Physical and emotional factors contribute to dyspareunia.
Physical factors include:
- Injury or trauma
- Vaginal dryness
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Radiation and chemotherapy
- Certain medications
Emotional factors include:
- Relation problems
- History of sexual abuse
Pain in dyspareunia can vary, which can be burning or an aching pain and can occur:
- In vagina, urethra or bladder
- During intercourse
- Throbbing pain, lasting for hours after intercourse
- With tampon use
Diagnosis of dyspareunia involves:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Sexual history
- Pelvic examination
- Internal examination
- Urine test
- Allergy test
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Culture test
Even though all the causes of dyspareunia cannot be avoided, some of them can be prevented by following measures such as:
- Proper hygiene
- Avoid tight clothing
- Wear cotton underpants
- After childbirth, wait at least six months before resuming sexual intercourse
- Use condoms or other contraceptives to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
- Encourage natural lubrication
- Seek treatment for vaginal dryness.
Treatment for dyspareunia depends on the cause of the condition.
- Medications are mostly used in the treatment to relieve the pain, treat infections or any other underlying medical conditions associated with the pain.
- Desensitisation therapy is a type of treatment in which vaginal relaxation exercises are taught to reduce pain.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps in dealing with your negative thoughts, feelings, patterns and behaviours.
- Sex therapy helps you to reestablish intimacy and improve communication with your partner.
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