Most people aren’t comfortable talking about painful sex, yet 3 out of 4 will experience the problem during their lifetime. Many also don’t realize that painful sex is a common symptom of other conditions. At Women's Health Domain, the team of highly-skilled and compassionate doctors have extensive experience treating painful intercourse, even in the most complex cases. To schedule an appointment, call the office, which is adjacent to the Domain in North Austin, or book an appointment online today.
Dyspareunia is the medical term used for painful sexual intercourse. Painful sex is one of the most common symptoms of endometriosis, yet it’s the one many patients and doctors find most uncomfortable to discuss.
Though painful sex frequently affects women with endometriosis, it’s not the only cause. Vaginal dryness or muscle spasms are the top culprits. Living with stress, depression, and anxiety, or having relationship problems also lead to painful sex.
In addition to endometriosis, other gynecological conditions cause dyspareunia. Examples include uterine fibroids, vulvodynia, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
When you have endometriosis, tissues similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grow outside the uterus. As patches of endometriosis grow on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and other pelvic structures, they cause inflammation and scarring.
When you have sexual intercourse, the endometriotic patches, as well as tightened areas of scarring are stretched and pulled. As a result, you experience pain.
If you take hormones to help treat endometriosis, you may also have vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness nearly always makes sex painful.
Each woman with endometriosis can experience painful sex differently. Your pain may range from mild to excruciating and feel like a sharp, stabbing pain or a deep abdominal ache.
The intensity and duration of your pain depend on the location. As a result, you may experience pain in any sexual position or only during deep penetration.
Some women have pain at certain times of the month, while others have pain all of the time. The pain may occur only during sex, or you could have pain for days afterward.
The only way to eliminate painful sex is to first diagnose the cause and then treat that condition. You may benefit from many therapies ranging from training your muscle to relax and trying different positions during sex, to a counselor or sex therapist who can help you navigate through the problem.
When endometriosis is the source of your pain during sex, your provider at Women's Health Domain may recommend laparoscopic surgery to remove all of the areas of endometriosis.
During laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes several incisions in your abdomen that are about one-half-inch long. They insert the laparoscope through one incision and surgical instruments through the other.
Using the scope’s camera to view your organs, they find the endometriosis, often using their contrast to highlight the patches. Then they cut away all of the endometriotic tissues.
To learn more about treatment for painful sex, call Women's Health Domain or book an appointment online today.