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Dyspareunia is physical pain experienced during sexual intercourse, caused by medical or psychological factors. It is characterized by severe pain with attempted penetration of the vaginal opening and of tenderness within the vulval vestibule. There are many causes for this condition, but it is usually curable and the nature of treatment depends on the underlying cause. It is a very widespread condition that affects up one in five women at some time in their lives.

What is Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia is any recurrent or persistent genital pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse that is not either vaginismus or due to lack of lubrication. That is easily dealt with - there are plenty of good water soluble best lubricants for women. If the pain is due to an involuntarily contraction of the muscles of the woman's pelvic floor, then that condition is known as vaginismus and is dealt with separately on this website.

There are various types of dyspareunia and therefore medical professionals classify the types in categories. It can be acquired or lifelong and generalized or situational. Also there are varying degrees. The pain can sometimes be superficial or it could be substantial. And it could occur at the vaginal outlet, the vaginal barrel or against the cervix.

Causes of dyspareunia

There are numerous medical causes of dyspareunia ranging from infections to genital mutilation. It may be caused by an infection - in particular, Candidiasis, causes by Candida albicans.

Treatment for this problem is easily available: you can , for example, get information about one system for treating recurring yeast infection here. Other sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, urinary tract infections, endometriosis, tumors, xerosis can be dealt with at a sexual infection clinic.

Dyspareunia may result from an accident such as a fall affecting the pelvic area, or the result of surgery or from genital mutilation. In addition, hormonal imbalance or estrogen deficiency is a common cause among postmenopausal women and lactating women.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and effective treatment of dyspareunia depends on the type and cause. The diagnostic procedure begins with an examination of the pelvis to discover as closely as possible the discomfort and to identify the site or source of the pelvic pain. This involves the cotton-swab test, in which pressure is applied by degrees around the vulvar vestibule to assess the area and extent of the pain. Bacterial and viral tests are undertaken to assess whether the cause is an infection.

Also it is important that psychological factors are considered. It may be the pain results from or is exacerbated by irrational fears or uncontrolled emotions. And the woman’s relationship with her partner will be looked into. It may be the case that pain is the result of on unsatisfactory sexual relationship due to lack of knowledge of sexual positions or techniques.

Having made a thorough examination, the therapist will offer one or more solutions. These are just a few of the many forms of treatment available. In extreme cases, if the tests show up any physical damage, surgery may be required. This is most unusual but if there is a pelvic injury, it should be dealt with immediately.

The problem may have a simple and obvious cause like stress or tension. In this case the patient will be encouraged to learn about her body and to explore her own anatomy. In this way, she can learn how she likes to be caressed and how sex can become a pleasant relaxing experience. It may also be a case of insufficient lubrication, in which case lubricants and advice as to their use will be prescribed.

The therapist may also offer advice as to the choice of sexual position. In certain positions, greater vaginal penetration is achieved which may not be satisfactory if it causes pain during intercourse.

In this case, other positions where lesser penetration occurs will be recommended. It is also important that the woman’s relationship should be considered. If the woman’s partner has insufficient sexual knowledge or lack sexual skill, it may be necessary for both the woman and her partner to receive advice on sexual techniques. Finally, psychological factors may be a part of the problem, in which case referral to a psychologist or sex therapist trained in this particular field is an option.

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