Dyspareunia, Greek for “painful intercourse,” sounds like it could belong in a science fiction or dystopia novel. Indeed, dyspareunia can make your sex life go from utopia or bliss to downright apocalyptic. But fear not, there are cures out there for people who suffer from dyspareunia.
Dyspareunia is an especially important topic to discuss because, unfortunately, women in particular who suffer from painful intercourse are often too embarrassed to discuss it or seek help, thinking it is normal that sex hurts.
Dyspareunia has many causes and, as with many medical conditions, the symptoms can vary widely. The painful condition can be caused by: yeast or urinary tract infections; dryness due to menopause; interstitial cystitis (more commonly referred to as painful bladder syndrome); accidents, trauma, and falls; injuries sustained while giving birth and more. While these are the causes, they generally lead to tense pelvic floor muscles.
Here are some strategies to help you cope with and eventually ease the burden of dyspareunia:
- Seek medical treatment. This is the most important thing you can do to start your recovery toward a painless and satisfying sex life. It is generally multidisciplinary approaches (such as relaxation techniques listed below combined with medication) that yield the best results. Medication for dyspareunia includes muscle relaxants, low doses of antidepressants and if it’s related to a yeast infection, the appropriate ointments.
- Relaxation is essential. Practice deep breathing, meditation, and stretching (or anything that relaxes you) because if you can relax your pelvic floor muscles, you will be able to ease the pain. But remember, every woman is different so while one technique may have worked for a friend of yours, don’t get disheartened if it does not work for you.
- Communicate with your sexual partner about your strategies. Let them know that you’re practicing relaxation techniques and may need to stop and regroup during the act.
- Remember that sex does not have to be painful, and nor do you have to engage in it if you do not want to. It is your body, so it is always your choice.
If you are concerned that your dyspareunia is caused by chronic urinary tract infections, it is important to see a urology doctor NYC.
Luzato Medical Group can help. Our services include: