Painful Sex is Often the First Sign of a Serious Condition for Women

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There are many factors and conditions that can cause painful sex. If you experience painful sex you need to find out why.

Men seldom know that sex for women is sometimes painful. Many women do experience painful sex and seldom know why. When they go (or historically, went) to their physicians they were often told, “it’s all in your head, there is nothing wrong”. If they went to their therapists they were told well, we first need to know that nothing is wrong with you physically, so go to your doctor and tell them.

In Brett’s practice, women would return from visits with their physician, and say to him, my doctor said it was not a physical problem, so it has to be an emotional issue or a relationship issue. Can you help me with this?

Dyspareunia was a topic rarely discussed in medical school. It is a Latin term for painful intercourse. One reason that happens is dryness which comes from low hormone balances.

Dryness causes tearing and soreness and it is actually hurtful when a woman tries to have sex. It is very important that a physician takes these complaints seriously and check them out carefully to see if there is some physical issue, and then if not, treat them with a solution that is known for treating dry vaginas and causing painful sex. Increasing the level of estrogen will result in better lubrication and eliminate dry sex and the pain that comes with it.

Another cause of painful sex in women is endometriosis, which is an inflamed area inside your uterus and it is sore and more acute or extreme pain for women than dry vagina pain. There are conditions that cause endometriosis and it is very treatable. Most doctors are trained about this in medical school, but doctors who do not specialize in gynecology often find that women are reluctant to speak to them about things sexual, and they sometimes find it easy to dismiss the concern with a platitude when the topic arises. These treatments for endometriosis are much easier when the issue is caught early on. It is a quick and relatively easy fix although it does involve a procedure that is “surgical”. If you suffer from this condition, do not hesitate, get it fixed. Insist that your doctor look into this.

Low dose estrogen pills help younger girls who are beginning to develop these issues, so does laparoscopic surgery. (not a particularly invasive or difficult surgery.) Mothers are often reluctant to put their daughter on birth control pills, but again, it is an important treatment for a known issue, that if not treated, can become destructive to their daughter’s sex life and relationship when she is grown and independent. Low dose birth control pills can help save the fertility of the young girl later in her life.

Vaginismus is another painful sex issue. When there is anticipation of pain your body will sometimes shut itself down to avoid pain and this can make having sex impossible. If there is a pain cause, the pain causes should be investigated and eliminated. This is treatable and doable.

One other issue that can cause painful sex is a vaginal septum. Literally, a vertical wall that is flexible grows inside the vagina. This is difficult to find and identify, but it can lead to problems having sex and problems having babies, or even problems using tampons. Doctors frequently miss this due to the flexibility of the septum and they typically aren’t looking for it. When found, it is an easy fix and never returns. A short surgery will fix it forever.

43% of American women between 18-59 suffer from this issue. There are a number of different causes. One of the explanations is that some women are not open to the idea of having sex. If they are resistant, then efforts to make them have sex are intrusive and painful. One reason for that there may be resistance, is that they do not have a libido, which is caused by low hormones. If the hormones are restored to their appropriate level, then these women can have orgasms and experience pleasure in sexual behaviors. When there is pleasure, there is much more reciprocity and much less pain. Sex is more enjoyable and mutually satisfying.

If you are in this 43% who have painful sex, you need to become an active participant in your own health care. Do not be afraid to investigate or speak with your doctor about these issues in your life, do not let them blow you off with a dismissive response. If it hurts, there is a reason. Check it out and insist on a treatment that will stop the pain.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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