Dyspareunia is a condition that only affects women and is characterized by pain during intercourse. There are different types of dyspareunia:
- superficial dyspareunia, felt at the time of the attempted penetration of the vagina of the woman;
- the presence of dyspareunia after intromission;
- ballistic dyspareunia, also known as shock or deep pain occurring in the case of pressure exerted on the vaginal floor.
Dyspareunia may have various origins: it may be the result of a local infection, often a Sexually Transmitted Infection (SIT), defective vaginal lubrication, a close by wound (often the consequences of a difficult birth) and endometriosis, which is present in an abnormal location of endometrial lining of the uterus ... A psychological cause can also be behind dyspareunia.
Symptoms of dyspareunia are:
- pain during vaginal penetration;
- pain due to the presence of the phallus in the vagina;
- pain in the vaginal cuff.
Other signs may be present and oriented towards a particular cause such as poor lubrication of the vagina, signs of inflammation of the external genitalia and in some cases genital infection ...
To diagnose and therefore explain dyspareunia, the doctor or gynecologist will question the patient about her pain. The doctor will then proceed to a clinical examination and a pelvic exam. Additional tests may be required such as:
- a blood test;
- a vaginal infection sample;
- a pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound;
- a laparoscopy to visualize directly inside the vagina and search for an injury;
- a psychological evaluation may sometimes be required.
If dyspareunia is due to an organic pathology pains will gradually fade. Treatment may include antibiotics, antifungal creams, hormonal treatment or the use of lubricants according to the pathology involved.
If dyspareunia is psychological, the doctor may suggest to his patient a psychological care or sometimes couples therapy if necessary.
To avoid dyspareunia, it is essential to each a minimum of sexual excitation or to use a lubricant to avoid painful intercourse. A patient should also have a good quality of personal hygiene without being too aggressive with her genitalia.