Pain During Intercourse
Pain During Intercourse Overview
Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) is pain or discomfort in a woman's labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or after sexual intercourse. The word dyspareunia comes from early Greek language, and its meanings include "difficulty mating" or "badly mated." Pain during intercourse is described in medical literature dating back to the ancient Egyptian scrolls. Early Hebrews regarded this condition as sufficient cause for divorce. Today, most causes of dyspareunia may be easily discovered and treated.
The number of women who experience pain during intercourse is unknown because the symptoms vary. Also, both doctors and women fail to freely discuss sexual practices.
Recent studies suggest that more than 60% of women report current or previous episodes of pain during sexual relations. Fewer than half of these women discussed this pain with their doctors.
John G McManus Jr, MD
Richard D Warren, MD
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