Painful sexual intercourse also known as dyspareunia is not an uncommon ailment in women. The etymology of the word refers to Greek for “badly mated”. Mostly characterised by pain in the genitals and pelvic region during the insertion of the penis and movements thereof. The pelvic pain during intercourse may even last after the removal of the penis and lead to dryness and lack of arousal.
Dyspareunia or painful sexual intercourse may be primarily caused by several sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and urinary tract infection. Other infections like those of fallopian tubes may become apparent in pain. Also, the pain may not be due to an infection but may be seen as symptomatic of another disease such as Interstitial Cystitis which is commonly referred to as IC. It’s a disease of the bladder marked by pain during urination.
Many lactating women suffer from a dry vagina and painful sexual intercourse. Similarly, menopausal women go through a comparable experience. Imbalance in estrogen levels can be a major factor in both cases.
Women who have taken radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer of the pelvis may suffer from dyspareunia as well. Weakening of the vagina is a common side effect in such a case resulting in pelvic pain during intercourse.
In certain women dyspareunia may be triggered only during specific sexual positions or during deep thrusts. The cause maybe a cervix that is bent to either side. An uplifting or truncating procedure can set it right and may become necessary as the patient may suffer later with natal complications. Ovarian cysts can be another invisible cause of painful coitus that would require surgical intrusion.
In the case of men, the pain may come to the penis, bladder, testicles and pelvic area with ejaculation and infections remain the primary cause. Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and herpes manifest in sharp and burning sensations in the genitals during intercourse. Other infections may be a result of tearing of the skin of the penis including the foreskin. Scratches acquired due to brisk masturbation or coitus can become vulnerable spots for infections and produce pain leading to sex related problems.
Other reasons in men can be purely psychosomatic. Guilt or anger may be a crucial element in post coital pain as well as painful orgasm. Painful orgasms are also experienced when climax is extremely delayed . It may be followed by vasocongestion or epididymal hypertension colloquially known as blue balls. Sexual arousal maintained for a considerably long period leads to temporary fluid congestion and becomes painful. If sexual denial is frequently practised it can lead to further cramping of the pelvic floor and genitals.
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