Login
Register

Home

Our Team

Diagnoses

Treatments

Classes

Resources

Media

Testimonials

Blog

Locations

Account

Contact Us

Media
Register
how dyspareunia causes pain during sex
Image courtesy of Giddy
Giddy author Tabitha Britt penned an in depth article on how dyspareunia causes pain during sex, and she reached out to me for my opinions in this wide ranging exposé on this common issue. Here is a brief synopsis of the article with some of my thoughts, and I encourage you to read the full article at the link below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Find Out How Dyspareunia Causes Pain During Sex

Intercourse shouldn't hurt, but if it does, find out why and how you can reduce the discomfort.

As the article states, if you experience pain during sex, you're far from alone. Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, affects about 3 in 4 women. Although this condition is most often associated with women, studies have shown about 1 percent to 5 percent of men suffer from pain from intercourse, too.

The article goes deep into the potential causes of painful sex, which can include endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, a retroverted uterus, interstitial cystitis / painful bladder syndrome, vaginismus, clitoral phimosis, postorgasmic illness syndrome, chronic bacterial prostatitis, and more.

So as you can see, dyspareunia is really a blanket term for any type of pain associated with penetrative sex. Tabitha points out how dyspareunia can be broken down into two types, superficial and deep:

  • Superficial dyspareunia, known as entry dyspareunia, refers to pain felt at the vaginal or rectal opening during initial penetration.
  • Deep dyspareunia, known as collision dyspareunia, refers to pain felt at deeper points in the vagina and/or rectum during sexual stimulation or penetration.
  • Some people experience both types of dyspareunia.

She then mentions how common symptoms can show up in several forms, such as:

  • Constant pain that begins at the start of sexual intercourse
  • Pain after a period of pain-free sex
  • Pain during all sexual activity, including arousal, penetration and orgasm
  • Pain that occurs when there is a change in the physical, emotional or hormonal state during sex

Click here to browse all of our articles on Dyspareunia.

What causes pain during sex?

Pain with sex can happen for a variety of reasons, many of which overlap. Some common causes include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis - Similar to endometriosis, adenomyosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue invades the muscular wall of the uterus. This tissue growth causes heavy, prolonged periods, chronic pelvic pain, and pain during or after sex.
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Retroverted uterus
  • Interstitial cystitis / painful bladder syndrome (IC-PBS)
  • Vaginismus
  • Clitoral phimosis - an anatomical disorder involving the hood of skin around a woman's clitoris being fully or partially disabled, such as being too tight. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggested 22 percent of women suffer from clitoral phimosis.
  • Postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) - a rare and under-researched condition characterized by a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, weakness and fatigue, shortly after having an orgasm. These symptoms can endure for an hour to several days.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis

Treatment options

Tabitha lists a number of treatment options that include medications, desensitization therapy, and sex therapy. But it's her last tip that hits home with us:

A pelvic floor physical therapist may also be able to help you normalize the activity of your pelvic floor muscles to reduce any discomfort you may be experiencing during intercourse.

Tips for coping and improving your sex life

She offers a number of options that can improve the situation aside from the treatments mentioned, with an emphasis on switching things up - including different positions and not relying on penetrative sex alone. There is much more to learn at the full article here on the Giddy website. And if you think you're ready to take the plunge with one of our trained physical therapists, click here to schedule an appointment with us.

Featured on InstaGram

What Our Patients Have to Say

Prev
Next

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

Testimonial by M.M.

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

My husband and I were married for 5 years before we were able to have intercourse due to my vaginismus. There was nothing traumatic in my past but for some reason, even though I wanted sex, I mentally avoided "that area" of my body and didn't even admit to myself that there was a problem for a long time, even though I was never able to put tampons in. Once I finally opened my eyes up to the fact that I had a problem, I had a surgery that was supposed to fix the issue.

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

Testimonial by R.S.

I wanted to thank you so much for helping me get through something I thought I may never be able to. We have achieved pain-free intercourse and this has really solidified our marriage. We are so grateful to you for all the work you do! Thank you!!

-- R.S.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get access to our free downloads and a 15% discount on Heather's book "Sex Without Pain"!
captcha 
I agree with the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy