Alternate Names : Painful Sexual Intercourse, Pain with Intercourse
Dyspareunia is pain in the vagina when the penis is inserted during sexual intercourse.
What is going on in the body?
Pain during sexual intercourse can be upsetting. The cause of the pain may be hard to find. There might be physical and psychological causes.
Physical causes may be within the female reproductive tract, including the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and abdominal cavity.
Some women may assume that sex will be painful. Or they might associate menstruation and childbirth with pain. Even when no physical causes are found and the pain is gone, the memory of the pain may persist. This can interfere with pleasure. The range of physical and psychological factors that prevent a woman from enjoying a sexual relationship should be considered.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Complications involving the vaginal opening that can cause dyspareunia can include:
no opening in the hymen.
after childbirth, a pain at site of the episiotomy, the incision made to enlarge the vaginal opening.
inflammation of the vagina, or vaginitis.
cyst or abscess.
infection of sweat or mucus glands.
Complications involving the clitoris can include:
abrasions due to trauma, bike riding, recent intercourse, etc.
Complications involving the vagina can include:
sensitivity to medications, spermicides.
vaginal inflammation after birth or during menopause
decreased lubrication, due to menopause, partner impatience, not enough foreplay
Complications involving the uterus and Fallopian tubes leading to the ovaries can include:
endometriosis, where tissue from the uterine lining travels outside the uterus.
endometritis, or infection of the uterus.
ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy outside the uterus.
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
pelvic adhesions or scar tissue from previous abdominal surgeries.
Complications involving the ovaries can include:
endometriomas, or cancers involving uterine lining tissue .
adhesions, or scar tissue from previous surgery or infection.
Psychological complications can include a history of:
post-traumatic stress syndrome.