Dyspareunia. This is the medical term for what is a very common problem — painful intercourse. In fact, nearly 3 out of 4 women report some experience with painful sex during their lives. Fortunately, the issue is often temporary. For others, however, dyspareunia is an ongoing problem that has no small impact on their quality of life.
If you're struggling with persistent painful intercourse, one thing that Dr. Ulas Bozdogan wants you to know is that there are often solutions. Here at Advanced Endometriosis Center, we help women overcome issues with dyspareunia, so they can enjoy healthy and comfortable sexual activity.
In this blog, we go over some of the common reasons why women experience painful intercourse.
At the top of our dyspareunia list is endometriosis, which affects about 11% of American women during their reproductive years. With this condition, endometrial tissues — which normally line the uterus — grow outside of the uterus.
These tissues can grow on the pelvic organs and other structures and, eventually, become painful adhesions. If this occurs, intercourse can become painful, because the activity can tug on these adhesions.
Many women have uterine fibroids, and most are unaware of the condition, because the growths — which are made of muscle and tissue — usually don’t pose any problems. However, if the fibroids are numerous enough, large enough, or located in a sensitive area, they can render sex uncomfortable. Many women describe the effect as a deep pelvic pain.
More than 1 million women enter menopause each year in the United States. One of the many potential side effects of this hormonal transition is painful sex. First, about half of women experience vaginal dryness after they transition through menopause.
On top of vaginal dryness, the vaginal walls can thin, and the vagina itself can shorten, both of which can lead to uncomfortable, if not downright painful, sex.
4. Pelvic organ prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a condition in which pelvic organs lose their support and shift down into the vaginal canal. In many cases, POP occurs after menopause, but it can occur at any age if there's weakening or dysfunction in the pelvic floor.
The pelvic organs that can shift include the uterus, bladder, and top of the vagina. Whatever the organ, one of the common side effects of POP is dyspareunia.
5. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Unfortunately, sexually transmitted diseases are still rampant. In fact, more than 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2021.
If these infections aren’t treated, they can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can make intercourse very uncomfortable.
There are more potential culprits behind painful intercrouse, but we’re going to stop here to underscore an important point: In each of the causes we outlined above, there are solutions. So if you’re struggling with ongoing painful intercourse, we can get to the root cause and provide treatment to help you enjoy sex again.
To get on the road to a healthier and happier sex life, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today. We have offices in New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey.