A Widespread Problem
If you or your partner have experienced painful sex, you are not alone. This problem affects many couples and, likely, many more couples than you think. It is estimated that roughly 20% of women experience dyspareunia.
Dyspareunia refers to persistent or recurring pain during intercourse. Pain during sex often goes unmentioned, even at the doctor. It can have a massive impact on a relationship, resulting in anxiety and stress. In addition, pain during sex can impact a couples’ level of intimacy.
What Causes Painful Sex?
There are many possible causes of pain during sex. Therefore, it’s important to discuss your specific symptoms with your doctor to ensure proper treatment. A few possible causes include:
- Insufficient vaginal lubrication – This affects 50-70% of women after menopause. It can be due to medications, diet/lifestyle changes, emotional or psychological stress, and something else entirely. It’s a common issue that many, many women deal with.
- Vaginismus – This is extreme tightness of the vaginal muscles or spasms of the vagina.
- Vaginal infections due to yeast or bacteria.
- Vaginal atrophy – This is thinning and drying of the tissue that makes vaginal walls and is common after menopause.
- Ovarian issues such as cysts.
Symptoms of Painful Intercourse
Most women who experience sexual discomfort experience pain at entry, during thrusting, or after intercourse. In the latter case, burning, aching, or sharp pain can last up to hours afterward.
Diagnosing Sexual Pain
It’s essential to seek medical attention if pain during sex is a common, persistent issue. Your doctor will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination, including a pelvic exam. Common questions that you may be asked are a description of the pain, sex positions where it is most problematic, and whether your pain has happened with every sexual partner or just one or a few. Additional tests may be required for diagnosis, such as:
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Blood tests
- Hormone level testing
Treatment of Pain During Sex
Treatment varies greatly depending on your diagnosis. A few common treatments for pain during sex are:
- Use of a lubricant
- Medications to decrease vaginal dryness
- Vaginal relaxation exercises
- Sex therapy or counseling
- Trying new sexual positions
- Increased communication with your partner during intercourse
- Hormone replacement therapy
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If you’re struggling with pain during sex, hormone therapy might be an option for you. Bioidentical hormone therapy refers to supplementing your natural hormones with plant-based, animal-based, or synthetic hormones to balance everything out.
Renewed Vitality has extensive experience creating individualized replacement hormone therapy treatment plans. Bioidentical hormones are made from plant-based sources. Unlike lab-produced synthetic hormones, plant-derived hormones are designed to give the patients the best and most natural results with the least side effects. Bioidentical hormones are identical to those your body already makes, so they can be used more efficiently and have fewer side effects.
Forms of Hormone Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is usually given in the form of a pellet. A simple procedure which uses a needle to insert a pellet right under the skin, usually in the thigh, hip, or buttocks. As time passes, the pellet releases the hormone directly to the bloodstream. This pellet supplements the natural production of testosterone and estrogen. As hormone levels normalize, the body returns to its usual level of function, and you may notice a decrease in unwanted symptoms like sexual pain.
Each pellet can last from three to six months. This form of therapy is known to be safe and effective. Placement is completed by a professional, and the pellets have fewer side effects than other known treatments. Other options for receiving hormone therapy are topical creams, hormone replacement patches, and oral hormone replacement therapy. Your Renewed Vitality practitioner can create a treatment plan that works for your needs and lifestyle.
Bioidentical hormone therapy can help women take their sex life back. It can increase natural lubrication in the vagina, making intimacy less painful.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you’re experiencing pain during sex, your doctor or the professionals at Renewed Vitality can help. Don’t suffer alone in silence! Let us help you find relief so you can reclaim your sensuality today!