Painful intercourse is termed as dyspareunia in medical terms. It is a persistent or recurring pain that occurs in genital region during or after intercourse. It may be accompanied by a burning or throbbing sensation and its severity can range from moderate to severe.
Dyspareunia can occur basically due to psychological or medical factors.
Psychological causes include:
- Relationship issues.
- Sexual abuse/trauma.
- Domestic violence.
These reasons can lead to vaginismus which is a condition where the muscles of vagina go into spasm causing contraction and pain during intercourse.
Medical factors for dyspareunia comprise of:
Atrophic vaginitis: This is a condition causing thinning, drying or inflammation of the lining of vaginal walls. Most often this condition is observed in post- menopausal women and is caused due to low estrogen levels.
Infections: Certain infections like urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, candida, herpes simplex or genital warts.
Skin diseases: Psoriasis or lichen sclerosus.
Certain conditions of female genital tract: Fibroids, ovarian cysts can some times cause dyspareunia if they are more in numbers or bigger in size.
Endometriosis: May be responsible for dyspareunia in certain cases as well depending on the site of endometriosis.
Pelvic inflammatory disease(PID): This condition involves inflammation of the female reproductive organs.
Cystitis: This condition involves inflammation of the urinary bladder. Uterus and urinary bladder are closely situated in the pelvic region. Cystitis can hence sometimes cause dyspareunia.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): This is a functional disorder of the digestive system. Terminal part of the digestive system and uterus are positioned next to each other thus leading to IBS being one of the possible causes of dyspareunia.
Uterine prolapse: Uterus slips down or protrudes out of the vagina due to weakening of pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. Uterine prolapse causes various symptoms, dyspareunia being one of them.
Other causes: These include side effects of some drugs.
Dyspareunia is a very sensitive issue. This is so because basically it leads to discomfort. In the long run it may have impact on the relationship between both partners. Very important concern related to dyspareunia is that it can be a cause of infertility if left untreated. Also, the condition causing dyspareunia needs to be addressed correctly as it can be related to any of the causes of dyspareunia and may have an impact on the overall health.
At Dyumna Women’s Clinic, we begin our job with a detailed case history and clinical examination. Depending on these we further approach for investigations like ultrasonography, some blood and urine tests or any more tests as per the need.
Actual treatment part begins after the cause has been found out.
Pichu, which is a medicated tampon helps extremely well especially when the cause is related to anxiety or other psychological issue causing Vaginismus. Pichu is also efficient when the cause is related to infections of genital tract, cystitis, atropic vaginitis, uterine prolapse.
Yoni dhavan is douching the vaginal canal with medicated decoctions. It helps to alleviate the infections and inflammation of the female genital tract. This procedure also helps to build healthy conditions of the female genital tract and prevent recurrent infections.
Personalised medicines are prescribed depending on the factor/factors causing dyspareunia. For example, along with the local procedures like pichu or yoni dhavan, personalised medicines are prescribed to address the concerned cause such as cystitis, infections, IBS or any other. This helps to treat the root cause as well as to give local relief.
Exercise: We advise different Yogasanas to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well as attend the overall health aiming at the concerned cause of dyspareunia.
Pranayam and meditation: Pranayam and meditation have proven effects on establishing health at physical as well as mental levels. These techniques are very helpful in treating anxiety, stress, fear which are many a times the causative factors of dyspareunia.
Ladies, dyspareunia is not a subject to be feared of or to be ashamed of. Life can be much easier. There is just a step to be taken to make it easy.