Dyspareunia: When sex is painfulSunday, July 19, 2015
By AINSWORTH MORRIS
DYSPAREUNIA -- pain during sex, is a condition which affects many women, though not many want to talk about it. Gynaecologist Dr Charles Rockhead says it affects a wide cross-section of the population, and can occur for various reasons.
He also stressed the importance of women maintaining dialogue with their partners and physicians if they suffer from the condition.
"It can be classified based on physical or psychological causes," Dr Rockhead explains.
"The physical causes of painful intercourse differ depending on whether the pain occurs at the entry or with deep thrusting. Emotional factors are also associated with painful sex."
Pain during sex with women occurs primarily because of infections, congenital abnormalities, surgeries, psychological problems, insufficient lubrication, injury, trauma, inflammation, skin disorders, vaginismus (involuntary painful spasmodic contraction of the vagina), medical treatments and stress.
"It is important not only for a doctor to understand the underlying cause of pain during sex, but also the patient. There are multiple underlying causes that may contribute to the pain, and the doctor understanding the nature and causes of the pain is very important for the purpose of treating dyspareunia," the gynaecologist says.
Treating dyspareunia, he says, depends on what diagnosis is given.
"Treatment is dependent on the cause. The cause of dyspareunia must be identified before treatment can take place. As noted before, dyspareunia can be caused by physical, psychological and emotional problems. If it is due to a physical cause, then options could be presented to the woman either with medicine or otherwise. There would be a totally different way to treat women who experience painful sex that is caused by emotional or psychological problems."