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  • Writer's pictureSkin Worthy

Is it normal for sex to be painful?

If you experience pain during intercourse, you are not alone. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 3 out of 4 women will experience painful intercourse at some point in their lives. Also known as dyspareunia, painful during sex can indeed have various causes, and it's important to seek medical advice to help determine the underlying cause.

Psychological Factors: The mind-body connection is significant when it comes to sexual health. Anxiety, stress, past traumatic experiences, relationship issues, or a negative attitude towards sex can lead to physical tension and discomfort during intercourse.

Medical Conditions: There are several medical conditions that can contribute to sexual pain. These include:

Vaginismus: This is a condition where the muscles around the vagina involuntarily contract, making penetration painful or impossible.

Endometriosis: This condition involves the growth of tissue similar to the uterine lining outside the uterus, which can cause pain during intercourse.

Interstitial Cystitis: This chronic bladder condition can cause pain in the pelvic area, including during sex.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infections in the reproductive organs can lead to pain during sex.

Fibroids: Noncancerous growths in the uterus can cause discomfort during intercourse.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those occurring during menopause or postpartum, can lead to changes in vaginal tissue, dryness, and thinning, which can result in painful intercourse (genitourinary syndrome of menopause).

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: The pelvic floor muscles play a crucial role in sexual function. If these muscles are too tight or weak, they can lead to pain during intercourse. Pelvic floor physical therapy is often recommended for such issues.

Surgical or Medical Procedures: Surgeries in the pelvic area, such as a hysterectomy, can cause adhesions or scarring that may lead to pain during intercourse.

Chronic Constipation: Chronic constipation can put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and cause discomfort during sexual activity.

Skin Conditions: Skin conditions affecting the genital area, such as lichen sclerosus or lichen planus, can result in pain with vaginal penetration.

Depending on the origin or cause of your pain, there are various treatment options ranging from therapy, medication, lifestyle changes to non-surgical treatments and surgical interventions. Open and honest communication with a healthcare provider is crucial to determine the specific cause of the pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Seeing a provider with knowledge of the pelvic floor is additionally beneficial to help address the mind body connection.

At Sin Worthy we aim to address sexual wellness with combination treatments which can address a variety of women's sexual concerns. There is no shame or stigma in asking for help. You deserve to enjoy sex and regain control of your life. This is something providers like myself encounter on a daily basis and we are well-equipped to help provide you with both the solutions and support you need.

-NP Cat

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