Dyspareunia

(Painful Sexual Intercourse)

Definition

Dyspareunia is recurrent or persistent genital pain experienced just before, during, or after sexual intercourse. Although this condition can occur in both men and women, it is more common in women.

Causes

Women

The cause is believed to be related to physical factors.Some pain occurs during vaginal entry, but decreases over time. This is often caused by not having enough lubrication because of a lack of sexual arousal and stimulation. It can also be caused by dehydration, or as a side effect of some medications, such as antihistamines. Frequent douching can also cause problems.Other causes in women include:The cause of dyspareunia may also be related to psychological factors, although this is less common. Some examples include:
  • Previous sexual trauma, such as rape or abuse
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Negative attitudes toward sex
These factors may lead to a condition called vaginismus. This is painful and involuntary contractions of vaginal muscles. It is usually a response to past sexual trauma or other painful circumstances, but it can also be the result of chronic irritation from a physical cause.

Men

The most common causes of pain in men are:Pain occurs at the time of ejaculation.Pain that occurs while obtaining an erection may be associated with:
  • Inflammation of the foreskin
  • Loss of elasticity of the foreskin
  • Trauma to the penis
  • Herpes or genital warts
  • Local allergies or irritations
  • Curvature of the penis caused by Peyronie's disease

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