Dyspareunia is painful sexual intercourse, due to medical or psychological causes. The term is used almost exclusively in women, although the problem may occur in men.

Women with dyspareunia may feel superficial pain at the entrance of the vagina, or deeper pain during penetration or thrusting of the penis. Dyspareunia is considered to be primarily a physical, rather than an emotional, problem until proven otherwise. In most instances of dyspareunia, there is an original physical cause.

Some women also may experience severe tightening of the vaginal muscles during penetration, a condition called vaginismus. Dyspareunia may result from female genital mutilation, when the introitus has become too small for normal penetration.

Other causes include injuries in the genital area, a diaphragm or cervical cap that does not fit properly, an allergic reaction to contraceptive foams or jellies or to latex condoms, a congenital abnormality.

Medications are prescribed to treat infections, if they exist. If an allergy to latex is suspected, alternative methods of contraception should be considered.

Causes of Dyspareunia

The common causes and risk factor’s of Dyspareunia:

  • Vaginal infection.
  • Reaction to the latex of a diaphragm or condom.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Skin diseases, such as lichen planus and lichen sclerosis, affecting the vaginal area.
  • Sexual abuse or rape.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Certain medications.

Symptoms of Dyspareunia

Some sign and symptom related to Dyspareunia are as follows:

  • Superficial pain at the entrance of the vagina.
  • Severe tightening of the vaginal muscles during penetration.
  • Interpersonal difficulty.
  • Pain may be mild or severe, and it may very with different intercourse positions.

Treatment of Dyspareunia

  • For vaginal yeast infections, you will be given antifungal medication.
  • Antibiotics will be prescribed for urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If endometriosis is causing your dyspareunia, you may be prescribed medication or you may need surgical procedures to control or remove abnormal growths of uterine tissue.
  • For atrophic vaginitis, estrogen therapy will be prescribed, either as a vaginal formulation or as a pill.
  • For skin diseases affecting the vaginal area, the treatment will vary depending on the disease. For example, lichen sclerosis and lichen planus often improve with steroid creams.