Painful Sex

Sex does not need to be painful, and too many women suffer in silence through painful sex, or avoid sex altogether. Painful sex has many causes and most are completely treatable. Painful sex refers to pain with penetration (intercourse), sexual touch (outercourse), or orgasm. Some women even experience more unusual symptoms with orgasm such as migraine headaches, flu like symptoms, sneezing, flu-like symptoms, or even (rare) short-term memory loss.
The causes of pain range from dry thin skin caused by low estrogen and testosterone, pelvic muscle spasm caused by events such as hip injury or prior pain with sex, chronic irritation from over-washing with soaps, overgrowth of nerves in the skin around the opening of the vagina, or chronic infection. It is important to see healthcare providers who are trained in cases and treatment of sexual pain, especially those providers who stay up to date with regular medical education with groups such as the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH). Also, well-trained providers know when to involve other healthcare providers such as sexual health counselors, sex therapists, and physical therapists who are specially trained in pelvic floor health with the goal of eliminating painful sex.

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