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Women’s Health: Pain While Having Sex – Dyspareunia Treatment

dyspareuniaHave you ever experienced pain while having sex? Then you may suffer from dyspareunia, a recurrent or persistent pain with sexual activity that affects approximately 10% to 20% of women in the United States. This condition can result in a lack of desire for sexual intercourse and damper the relationship a woman has with her partner as sexual intercourse should be associated with pleasure and not pain. When the pelvic muscles in the pelvic floor tighten then Dyspareunia may occur. However, there are women who experience dyspareunia as a result of yeast infections, vaginal dryness or even post-childbirth.

Dyspareunia can be categorized into two types: 1) entry and 2) deep. Entry Dyspareunia occurs when the pain is felt at the entrance of the vagina and deep dyspareunia pain occurs with deep penetration. Dyspareunia tends to have a negative impact on a woman which include negative perception of their body, issues with their relationships, and challenges with their efforts to conceive a baby.

While there are several factors that cause dyspareunia, the five most common causes of dyspareunia are as follows:

  1. Vulvodynia
    1. Burning pain in the vulva that may be continuous or may occur every once in a while. Sometimes it is triggered by touch or pressure, including intercourse or long periods of sitting.
  2. Vaginismus
    1. Pain that occurs when vaginal muscles of the pelvic floor involuntarily or persistently contract when vaginal penetration is attempted. These contractions prevent sexual intercourse and/or make sex painful.
  3. Inadequate Lubrication
  4. Vaginal Atrophy
    1. Thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a lack of estrogen.
  5. Postpartum Dyspareunia

Physical Therapy is a great treatment option for Dyspareunia. At Fusion Physical Therapy, Jackie Saravane, our physical therapist who specializes in women’s health will create a customized plan that will address all of the facets of the pelvic floor. Her treatment plan may consist of a pelvic physical exam, pelvic floor massage as well as bladder manipulation and retraining. The retraining phase includes teaching you to identify the correct muscle groups and how to consciously relax those muscle.

Contact Jackie today to schedule an appointment via phone at 580-699-5455 or online at

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