Is pain during sex normal?

Pain during sex is erroneously accepted as a normal part of being a woman or a vulva owner and too often dismissed by many healthcare professionals. While it is a very common issue, pain during sex is NEVER normal. Painful sex, officially known as dyspareunia, can affect individuals of any gender and is defined as recurrent genital or pelvic pain during or after sexual intercourse.  Dyspareunia can decrease sexual desire, decrease self-esteem, and cause significant psychological distress.  

Sexual intimacy is an essential part of many relationships.  When sex becomes a source of pain, this may lead to avoiding sexual intimacy in the relationship altogether. In this way, dyspareunia not only impacts the individual but the entire relationship- decreasing the physical and emotional connection between partners.

Common causes of painful sex:

Common causes of dyspareunia in vulva owners include vaginal dryness, endometriosis, vaginismus or pelvic floor dysfunction, genital hormonal imbalances, and dermatologic, inflammatory, or other medical conditions affecting the outer genital skin or internal reproductive organs. Common causes of dyspareunia in penis owners include dermatologic, inflammatory, or infectious conditions affecting the outer genital skin, penile curvature, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Psychological trauma may also contribute to painful sex.

Remember, pain during sex is a valid concern that should not be ignored or dismissed. The appropriate treatment depends on the underlying cause. Interventions such as adding personal lubricants during intercourse, hormonal therapies, medications, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and possibly surgical procedures may be recommended for you depending on the cause. 

Here at Down There Urology, we have the expertise and resources to address the underlying causes of  painful sex. By addressing both physical and psychological factors, fostering open communication, individuals suffering with painful sex can find relief and regain sexual wellness. We understand that sexual health is health. An individual’s sexual well-being is an important part of an individual’s overall quality of life.  Don’t hesitate to make a consultation with us today and start your journey towards pain-free sex.

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