Pain During Intercourse Overview
- Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) is pain or discomfort in a woman's labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or immediately following sexual intercourse.
- The word dyspareunia comes from the 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 can 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 many women report current or previous episodes of pain during sexual relations.
- Fewer than half of these women discussed this pain with their doctors.
Causes of Pain During Intercourse
Pain during intercourse is one of the most common causes of problems
of sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of such pain seems to be increasing over time. Possible reasons for this apparent increased prevalence include the following:
Changes in sexual behavior
An increase in the frequency of sexually transmitted diseases
Increased willingness to discuss sexual behavior
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/16/2016
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