Sex should bring you pleasure, not pain, so if sexual intercourse is painful for you, it’s a sign that something needs attention. Many causes, including physical and psychological issues, can trigger dyspareunia, or painful sex.
To make sex a pleasurable activity again, it’s essential to treat the underlying condition or problem. Since there are many reasons for painful sex, you should discuss your symptoms with a board-certified OB/GYN, like Kelly Morales, MD, in San Antonio, Texas, for an accurate diagnosis.
As part of our team’s comprehensive line of gynecological services, Dr. Morales offers sexual wellness help and resources for women experiencing painful sex. Here’s a look at some causes of painful sex and the treatments available to help.
It depends… At least 75% of women experience dyspareunia at one point or another during their lives. Often, pain during sex is linked to natural hormonal shifts that can cause vaginal dryness. But for some women, painful sex is severe or chronic, indicating there’s an underlying condition.
Because painful intercourse is a complex problem and may be the result of one or more factors, it’s hard to tell the root cause without help. Dr. Morales understands how important it is to accurately diagnose the cause of your dyspareunia to improve the likelihood of successful treatment.
During your sexual wellness appointment, she reviews your medical history, conducts a physical exam, orders any necessary imaging studies and/or blood work, and discusses your symptoms to understand the pain you’re experiencing.
While everyone is different, some of the most common factors that can cause or contribute to painful intercourse include:
Many women develop dyspareunia because of hormonal changes related to menopause or after giving birth. Estrogen plays a large role in your vaginal health, helping the tissues stay elastic, moist, and thick so that sex isn’t painful.
When your body’s production of estrogen changes, like during pregnancy, after having a baby, and while you’re breastfeeding, you might notices sexual changes. In perimenopause and menopause, when estrogen production declines significantly, this is especially true.
Lower estrogen levels during menopause can create changes in your vagina, including:
In addition to pain during sex, these changes can lead to fragile skin, loss of vaginal tightness, and irritation.
Yes! But keep in mind that the best solutions for painful sex depend on the underlying cause(s).
Once Dr. Morales determines the issue behind the painful intercourse you’re experiencing, she designs a personalized sexual wellness plan for you, which may include one or more therapies, such as:
Don’t suffer from painful sex any longer. Call Dr. Morales at our office in San Antonio, Texas, to schedule an appointment and get started on the path to a healthy sex life.