Many women suffer from intense pain during intercourse, a condition known as "dyspareunia." To add insult to injury, often these women are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it -- with either their doctor or their partner.
Whether mild or severe, this pain can disrupt any pleasure during sex -- and it can also interefere with or undermine an intimate relationship, especially when a woman is reticent to discuss the situation with her partner.
Some of dyspareunia's causes include vaginismus (the spasming of the vaginal muscles), scarring from an episiotomy, and the thinning and drying of the vaginal walls due to menopause. In some cases, the pain during intercourse can also have more serious implications, such as the existence of pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis. You may also be suffering from a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or reacting to some kind of psychological trauma.
Regardless of the cause or degree of discomfort, you should most definitely seek help from a physician or counselor.
And here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Can you tell me what's causing this pain?
- Am I a candidate for hormonal treatment?
- Should I use lubricants, and which one is best?
- Should I tell my partner?
And remember -- don't suffer in silence.