What is the Dyspareunia: Causes Types and Treatment

Difficult or painful sexual intercourse can have several causes.

This condition is known as dyspareunia, which may not have an organic cause and occurs in both women and men.

Let’s see…

What is it?

Dyspareunia is a sexual disorder characterized by the sensation of genital pain during intercourse. It can occur in both men and women, but it is more common among women.

Pain is usually felt during intercourse, but it can also occur before and after intercourse. Women can describe pain as a superficial, or even profound, sensation; and the intensity can range from mild discomfort to sharp, throbbing pain. It is more common than you think, and can reach up to 50% of sexually active women.

For the disorder to be called dyspareunia, the pain must cause distress or difficulty in sexual intercourse and is not solely due to lack of vaginal lubrication , vaginismus (involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles), for general medical conditions or can also be caused by the action of substances or drugs. The dyspareunia often leads to rejection of the sexual act with serious consequences for the relationship with respect to the commitment to the future, because it reduces sexual desire in varying degrees.

What types of dyspareunia are there?

We can find the following types:

• Primary: when it happens from the first sexual intercourse or attempted sex.
• Secondary: sexual relations were normal and, from a certain time, began to cause discomfort / pain.
• Situational: dyspareunia occurs only at certain times or sporadically.
• Generalized: the woman is not able to obtain any type of penetration, unless it is accompanied by discomfort.

What causes dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia can be caused by organic or psychological factors. It is important to note that the disorder originates in the interaction of a set of factors instead of a single cause.

Organic factors

• Genital infections such as candidiasis (thrush), trichomoniasis, etc.
• Skin diseases that affect the genital region: folliculitis, pubic lice, psoriasis.
• Sexually transmitted diseases such as chancroid, inguinal granuloma, etc.
• Infection or irritation of the clitoris.
• Diseases that affect the year.
• Irritation or infection of the urinary tract.
• In men, we can highlight phimosis, skin diseases, genital herpes, testicular and diseases of the prostate.

Psychological factors

• Difficulty in understanding and accepting sexuality in a healthy way.
• Very rigid moral and religious beliefs.
• Repression in education.
• Irrational fears and taboos in the sexual context.
• Lack of desire to have sex with the partner.
• The fear of hurting the baby when they have sex during pregnancy.
• The lack of information.
• Childhood traumas related to sexuality.
• Feelings of guilt about sexuality.

In a sexual relationship where the woman is worried, sad, frightened, where these reasons are caused by internal or external factors, she is unable to get excited. For this to happen, it must be right, present at the time of the relationship. With the emotion is that it is lubricated, and also provide comfort during the act itself.

On the other hand, the bad sexual partner is stimulated with bad feelings related to the sexual relationship, and is not excited properly. Without emotion there is no good lubrication, then there comes the pain to be penetrated. This will cause the relationship to deteriorate because of the discomfort caused to the couple, so the conflicts in the relationship will get even worse. The woman, afraid to feel the pain again in the relationship, will avoid the sexual encounter. And again, the conflict may appear. This tends to become a vicious circle in which fear breeds tension, and this creates more pain.

Treatment of dyspareunia

Consultation with a doctor is extremely important, as it will be able to detect possible organic factors that can be treated. The focus of psychological factors can be taken by different professionals, in most of them a sexual therapist is recommended.

The treatment includes psychotherapy whose objective is a better knowledge of himself, his illness, his body, and his way of dealing with the world. And, in general, it is very comforting for the woman. With respect to the treatment of the body, there are some exercises that can be indicated; that can be done at home and that sometimes are very appropriate, since some people can interrupt the follow-up.

Being a psychophysiological syndrome – a set of physical and psychological problems – It is useless to look at women as just a body or as a psychic being. The two work together simultaneously. Therefore, it is a work of several professionals (gynecologist, urologist and psychotherapist) in most cases are necessary.