Sex is supposed to be an exciting and pleasurable experience, but sometimes the opposite can happen. If you’ve been experiencing pain after intercourse, it’s possible that you’re suffering from dyspareunia.
“Dyspareunia is a term given to occurrence of recurrent and persistent pain during or after sexual intercourse. It is commonly seen in women,” explains Dr Deepak Jumani, a Mumbai-based sexual health physician and counselor with Sir JJ Group of Hospitals and Grant Medical College.
“The pain is often associated with external genitalia but can sometimes affect the inner pelvis or vagina. It is characterised by pain on penetration, burning sensation, throbbing pain that remains a long time after intercourse,” he said. “Causes of dyspareunia include emotional and psychological factors, lack of natural lubrication (especially in menopausal women due to low estrogen levels), inflammation, infections, trauma or injury (example, post birth), vaginismus or any congenital disorders,” he said.
Severe pain may also result from other serious underlying diseases such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine prolapse, uterine fibroids and cancer and its treatment. Many times patients who take antihistaminics for cold or allergies also get dyspareunia. In men, it may cause pain immediately after ejaculation due to infection, injury, rough intercourse or forceful retraction of tight foreskin.
So how can one avoid this condition? “If the condition is due to lack of lubrication, then the use of topical lubricants is recommended. Foreplay before penetration can also help increase lubrication naturally,” explains Dr Vinod Raina, a Delhi-based sexologist on the Lybrate medical app.
“Any underlying infection may also need attention. For instance, if inflammation due to fungal infection is the cause of dyspareunia, then a mycogen cream can provide relief. Other serious medical causes such as endometriosis require proper diagnosis and the primary cause needs to be treated. Change in coital position may help avoid or relieve pain during deep penetration,” he said.