What Causes Dyspareunia?

What Causes Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia or painful sex is a condition that happens during sexual intercourse. It can be persistent or recurrent, occurring in both men and women, but more common in women. 

There are various causes for painful sex, ranging from physical to psychological issues. Dyspareunia can affect your relationship with your partner, leading to distress. Sometimes it may occur due to factors such as lack of lubrication or infections. 

Your healthcare providers can help you get rid of painful sex. Therefore, you must visit the doctor if you have a complaint of dyspareunia. To get an expert opinion, you can consult with the Best Sexologist in Lahore.

Dyspareunia shows up as pain in the vagina or pelvis during sexual intercourse. The pain can be distinct or localized or a sense of discomfort. Along with that, it may cause the symptoms, such as burning, aching, ripping, and throbbing sensation during or after sexual intercourse. It can result in dissatisfaction or disinterest in sex. 

What Are The Causes Of Painful Sex?

There are various causes of painful sex. It can be due to physical or psychological reasons, or both. 

The physical causes for painful sex can be:

Vaginal Dryness

When you are sexually aroused, the vagina gets wet and lubricated. But in some cases, it may remain dry. A lack of lubrication can make sexual intercourse painful. 

Vaginal dryness can occur due to reasons, such as:

  • Lack of foreplay 
  • Reduction in estrogen levels- it usually occurs after menopause or childbirth.
  • Certain medications intake such as antihistamines, birth control pills, and antidepressants.


Vaginismus is a condition in which vaginal muscles contract involuntarily during sex. It can lead to painful sex. 

Women who have vaginismus have a problem during the gynecological examination and tampon insertion. Vaginismus can occur due to medical and emotional problems and vary in severity from mild to severe. 

Genital Injury 

Any injury to the female genital region can cause dyspareunia. It can occur due to conditions, such as pelvic surgery, injury due to an accident, or female genital mutilation. 

Intercourse can also become painful after childbirth. Many women have a complaint of postpartum dyspareunia after giving birth to a child. After delivery, you must take a break for three to four weeks to resume your sex life so that your body can recover well.

Infections or Inflammation 

Infections or infections associated with inflammation can cause sex to become painful. Inflammation at the opening of the vagina- a condition called vaginal vestibulitis can also lead to dyspareunia. 

Painful sex can also occur due to urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, or sexually transmitted diseases. 

Skin Conditions

Having a certain skin condition can also make sex painful. Skin conditions that can make sex painful are eczema, lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, and other skin problems that affect the vagina and the genital region. 

Allergic reactions or irritation to clothing, detergent, personal use products can also cause painful sex. 

Abnormalities At Birth

Some abnormalities that occur at the time of birth can also make sex painful. It can occur due to conditions, such as vaginal agenesis- a condition in which the vagina does not develop fully, or imperforate hymen- a condition in which hymen blocks the vagina. 

Other medical conditions that can cause dyspareunia are:

  • Cystitis- inflammation of the urinary bladder
  • Endometriosis- a condition in which endometrial tissue develops outside the uterus
  • Fibroids- non-cancerous growth in the uterus
  • Interstitial cystitis- painful condition of the urinary bladder
  • Irritable bowel disorder- a condition of the digestive tract
  • Ovarian cysts- formation of cysts in the ovaries
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease- inflammation of the pelvic region usually caused by an infection
  • Uterine prolapse- a condition in which one or two pelvic organs extend into the vagina.

The Bottom Line 

Dyspareunia can affect your sex life and relationship with your partner. Therefore you must consult with a healthcare provider. To get an expert opinion, you can visit the sexologist in Agha Khan University Hospital.


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