Sexual pain can trouble men and women alike and it poses a threat to the fulfilment and enjoyment of sexual intercourse. The primary sexual pain disorders to affect people are dyspareunia and vaginismus. Vaginismus affects only women.
Dyspareunia is the sexual pain disorder when sexual intercourse becomes a painful experience. Dyspareunia can happen due to psychological or medical reasons. The medical reasons for dyspareunia can be genital infections such as urinary tract infections, ovarian cysts and pain in the lower urinary tract, pelvis and uterus in women. Dyspareunia becomes a psychological ailment when women continue to experience pain even after the causes of discomfort are eliminated. Depression can also lead to dyspareunia in women. The medical reasons for dyspareunia in men range from pain in the groin or testicles after ejaculation, itching post ejaculation to anatomic deformities of the penis.
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles that leads to pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginismus happens due to the involuntary reflex action of the PC or pubococcygeus muscle of the vagina. Vaginismus too can be a medical as well as a psychological reason. Vaginismus can affect people who have suffered from any kind of trauma such as child sexual abuse, problems during childbirth or any form of physical and mental trauma.
Sexual pain disorders need an approach using which the psychological and medical reasons for the ailment can be eliminated from the roots. Experts take recourse to both psychiatric and medical approaches.
Antibiotics can be suggested for the treatment of sexual pain disorders if the underlying cause is any ailment such as urinary tract infection, vaginal dryness, yeast infection or polycystic ovary syndrome. Once the pain associated with these infections goes away, in most cases dyspareunia also goes away.
Some essential hormones required for effective lubrication of the vagina such as estrogen and progestins are prescribed to female patients. For menopausal women, the answer lies in adding testosterone to the replacement therapy to trigger positive response. This hormone therapy can be done orally or with a vaginal estradiol ring that releases estrogen into the vagina.
This is the most effective treatment for vaginismus. In this form of treatment, dilation exercises that include relaxation exercises are prescribed to women to help in the opening of the vagina. This is achieved by inserting dilators into the vagina. With the passage of time, the size of the dilator is increased.
Psychotherapy comes into the picture if the underlying cause of sexual pain is due to psychological reasons. Therapy here is aimed at relieving the patient of his/her underlying fears and reservations regarding sex. In this way, all the problems related to sex are slowly solved. This helps in enabling the person to relax during sexual intercourse which automatically affects the body.
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