Whilst it's not a topic many of us discuss, sex can sometimes prove a real pain for some women. In fact, around a third of younger and half of older women have suffered from the problem, according to the Sexual Advice Association. As well as discomfort, pain during intercourse can lead to problems in relationships, loss of intimacy and even depression. The good news is that many of these problems can be treated effectively by your GP or after a referral to a gynaecologist - so don't suffer in silence! Many women suffer a degree of discomfort during intercourse from time to time, but when should we seek help for our symptoms?
Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse): Causes, Treatments, and More
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Dyspareunia is the term for recurring pain in the genital area or within the pelvis during sexual intercourse. The pain can be sharp or intense.
What You Need to Know About Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse)
Pain during intercourse is very common—nearly 3 out of 4 women have pain during intercourse at some time during their lives. For some women, the pain is only a temporary problem; for others, it is a long-term problem. Pain during sex may be a sign of a gynecologic problem, such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Pain during sex also may be caused by problems with sexual response, such as a lack of desire the feeling of wanting to have sex or a lack of arousal the physical and emotional changes that occur in the body as a result of sexual stimulation. You may feel pain in your vulva , in the area surrounding the opening of your vagina called the vestibule , or within your vagina.
Deep penetration is the most likely cause of painful intercourse in females, but it can also be caused by a gynecological condition. Though this article will focus primarily on painful intercourse in females, we know that males can experience abdominal pain during sex, too. Regardless of the cause, painful sex can be treated.