Sexual Dysfunction

There can be many factors, both physical and physiological, that can cause a woman to have sexual problems.

If you are taking certain medicines, have a disease, or relationship problems, it can affect your sex life. Certain times of women’s lives can also cause disruptions in sexual desire or arousal including after childbirth or menopause, or during stressful times throughout life.

Dyspareunia, or Painful Intercourse

If you experience the following symptoms you should talk with your doctor about the different treatment options available:

  • Pain during sexual penetration
  • New pain from intercourse
  • Deep pain during deep thrusting
  • Burning or aching pain during intercourse
  • Pain continuing after intercourse

Vaginal Dryness

Insufficient lubrication can also be cause by a lack of foreplay, low estrogen levels after childbirth or during breast-feeding, and due to certain medications. Vaginal Dryness is a common symptom of menopause due to changes in hormone levels. The drop in estrogen levels in women going through menopause can lead to vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. While you can make changes in your sex life to help with vaginal dryness, medications or other treatments may be necessary. 

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Atrophic Vaginitis

When the vaginal walls have thinned and are dry, it can cause your vagina to be irritated and inflamed. This can cause sexual intercourse to be a painful experience, and may cause women to avoid sex. A vaginal infection can sometimes be the cause of inflammation. Be sure to see your OBGYN if you think you have an infection.

Inhibited Sexual Desire

Sexual apathy or aversion can be caused by the above physical problems or they could stem from an emotional cause such as:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Concerns with self-esteem or physical appearance
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress

Illnesses or Medications

Certain gynecological conditions can cause pain from deep penetration, including endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine fibroids. Past pelvic surgeries or medications can also result in painful intercourse.

Take note of the sexual dysfunction problems you’re having and what’s going on in your life while the problem is occurring. Talk with your gynecologist about treatment and lifestyle changes that can help provide relief from painful intercourse.