What to do About Painful Intercourse

About 3 in 4 women experience pain with sex at some point in their lives. Sometimes, pain is minor and disappears quickly. But when painful intercourse is a consistent problem, it can disrupt your life — from your self-esteem to your relationship with your significant other.

Daniel McDonald, MD, Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists understand how painful intercourse can impact your well-being. We specialize in diagnosing and treating pelvic pain, so you can get back to enjoying your life.

Painful intercourse is fairly common, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s time to find out what could be causing your pain and find treatment that works.

Menopause: a leading cause of pain with sex

Menopause is the transition your body goes through when your reproductive years end. It generally begins when you’re in your 40s or 50s, and hormonal changes can cause symptoms that last for several years.

In the years leading up to menopause and during menopause itself, your estrogen and progesterone levels naturally decline. Common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

Changes in vaginal lubrication makes intercourse painful for many women going through menopause. Coupled with decreasing sex drive, vaginal dryness can impact your sex life and your relationship with your significant other.

Gynecologic conditions that trigger pelvic pain

A number of common gynecologic conditions can cause pelvic pain. Pelvic pain can severely impact your quality of life, and for many women, it makes intercourse painful and unappealing.

Pelvic pain often ranges in severity, and it may feel like a constant dull ache or a sharp pain that comes and goes. Some women only notice it when they have sex, while it’s a constant presence for others.

The severity of your pain may not indicate the severity of your condition, which is why seeing the doctor any time you have pain is important.

Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and abnormal menstrual periods are just a few conditions that may make sex uncomfortable.

Not all gynecologic conditions that cause pelvic pain are chronic, however. Infections, like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), cause inflammation and discomfort that makes sex painful.

Making sex more enjoyable

If you experience discomfort with sexual intercourse, make an appointment with your OB/GYN. There’s no reason to be embarrassed when discussing sex with your doctor, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists is here to help you.

We diagnose possible causes of painful intercourse with a comprehensive gynecologic exam. Come to your appointment prepared to discuss your symptoms and your concerns, and Dr. McDonald and Dr. Wilson work with you to find treatment options that fit your lifestyle.

Acute conditions, including UTIs and STDs, can make intercourse painful, but these infections are generally simple to treat with a round of antibiotics. Chronic conditions like endometriosis may improve with birth control or a minimally invasive procedure.

If your pain is linked to menopause, hormone management and lifestyle changes could help minimize your symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy is an option that balances hormone levels to reduce menopause symptoms like vaginal dryness. 

Don’t wait to seek help for painful intercourse. Talk to our compassionate team to learn about what treatment could do for you. Call our Denton, Texas, office at 940-202-0566 or request an appointment online. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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