Sexual intercourse should be a pleasurable experience enjoyed between consenting persons. Unfortunately, some women experience painful sex, which is medically known as dyspareunia.
This condition can be a sign of vaginismus, which we’ve discussed before, or it can be a standalone condition that impacts your quality of life and relationships. Find out what exactly dyspareunia is, what symptoms to look out for, and how to enjoy sex again.
What is the Meaning of Dyspareunia?
You may be wondering, what is dyspareunia? The term “dyspareunia” derives from the Greek words “dys” meaning bad and “pareunos” meaning bedfellow. It’s a condition in which women feel genital pain just before, during, or after sexual intercourse.
Of course, everyone experiences some discomfort during sex at some point. Dyspareunia involves persistent or recurrent sharp pain during sexual activity for females that isn’t exclusively due to a lack of lubrication or vaginismus.
Experiencing Sharp Pain During Sexual Activity?
If you’ve never had issues with painful sex before, it can be quite worrying to experience intense pain during something that should be enjoyable.
Why Does Sex Hurt All of a Sudden?
Have you recently found yourself wondering ‘why does sex hurt’? If so, it’s important to keep track of how often you had pain sexually and what you think brought it on. When doctors downplay women’s health concerns it can be extremely frustrating, so the clearer you can be about your experience with painful sex, the better.
What are the Symptoms I Need to Look for to Reach Out to My Doctor?
Painful sex can take different forms, with some women experiencing intense pain only at the time of entry, or sexual penetration. Other women in pain complain of any kind of penetration being unpleasant, including inserting tampons or undergoing pelvic exams. Others may feel pain sexually during thrusting. The pain may be felt in the vagina or anywhere in the pelvic area or lower abdomen.
The type of pain can also vary, ranging from a dull, throbbing pain that can last for hours after intercourse to burning or aching before, during, or after. When you consult a doctor, they should ask you about the type of pain, how often it occurs, and how long you’ve been experiencing painful sex.
What Can I Do to Make My Pain Go Away and Enjoy Sex?
To address painful sex due to dyspareunia, you’ll want to identify the reasons for the pain. Several conditions lead to women in pain, which you should consider in order to know how best to get rid of the pain.
If your pain starts at the entry to your vagina (the vulva), then make sure that the issue is not insufficient lubrication. Vaginal dryness can result from certain medications, breastfeeding, menopause, or too little arousal.
Another possibility for painful sex is a structural issue with the vagina, but this would mean sex would have always been painful rather than suddenly becoming so later in life. Vaginismus, inflammation, or an infection in the genital area could result in pain at the point of penetration. In this case, solving the underlying issue should eliminate the pain.
If your painful sex experience involves deep pain from deep penetration or thrusting, it could be due to endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, or other conditions. It could also be caused by pelvic scarring you may have from previous surgery or from cancer treatments.
If you can rule out all of the above possible reasons for painful sex, then it’s time to consider psychological or emotional factors that could be causing your pain. Anxiety, stress, fear of intimacy, low self-esteem, and other issues in a relationship can reduce sexual arousal and contribute to discomfort during sex. Therapy can help with emotional issues that contribute to painful sex.
AIMA Might Just Be the Right Thing for You to Enjoy Your Sexual Life
We’ve had enough of doctors dismissing women’s pain, which leads to psychological turmoil, delayed diagnoses, and untreated pain. That’s why we created a new, effective solution for supporting period pain and other types of discomfort in the lower abdomen – including painful sex!
The OVY is a CBD-enhanced vaginal suppository that bypasses the liver and acts directly on cannabinoid receptors present in the female reproductive tract to provide support for discomfort and pain. This affordable product can be used during sex, making it a great option for localized relief.
Our commitment to breaking the cycle of untreated pain is rooted in our values of transparency, accountability, person-centric focus, and scientifically driven solutions. Join us in our mission to break the silence around women in pain and help close the gender pain gap.