20 causes of pain in the vagina after sex

In medicine, the problem of painful sexual intercourse is called “dyspareunia” and there can be many different causes of dyspareunia. Gynecology Obstetrics and IVF Specialist Op. Dr. Betül Kalay gave information about why a person may have pain in the vagina during or after sexual intercourse, and what he can do to alleviate or prevent the pain.

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Vaginal pains can occur during or after sexual intercourse for various reasons. Causes include sensitivity to friction during penetration, various vaginal infections, allergies, and previous and yet untreated trauma disorders. Here are 20 causes of vaginal pain…

1. Vaginal dryness, lack of hydration

  • A common cause of pain during or after sexual intercourse is the lack of wetting/lubricity in the vagina. Lubrication occurs naturally in the vagina, both for cleaning itself and when the person is awakened.
  • However, although postmenopausal vaginal dryness is common, low estrogen levels can cause this type of pain to occur at any age.
  • Using lubricated condoms and oil-free lubricants can help reduce pain during and after sex.

2. Problem with arousal

  • In some cases, a person may not feel sufficiently uplifted or not fully ready to have sex with their partner.
  • Having sexual intercourse when your partner is not stimulated or not ready; It can become uncomfortable or painful during and after intercourse.

3. Low estrogen

  • Estrogen levels fluctuate significantly throughout a person’s life, such as during puberty, menopause, and pregnancy.
  • These fluctuations can result in low estrogen, which can cause symptoms such as pain during sex, hot flashes, fatigue or mood changes.

4. Menopause
5. Injury, physical trauma to the vagina

  • Continuing previous injuries to the vagina can cause sex to be painful or uncomfortable.
  • For example, giving birth to a large baby can rupture the vagina and cause scar tissue to form, which may predispose to pain during sexual intercourse.

6. Latex allergy

  • If burning, itching and pain occur when the person’s partner uses condoms containing latex during intercourse, latex allergy may be in question.
  • If the person has a latex allergy; may need to use alternatives to latex condoms such as polyisoprene condoms, inner condoms, or polyurethane condoms.

7. Skin conditions

  • Certain skin conditions, such as contact dermatitis, can cause cracks or ulcers in the skin near the vulva. These cracks cause pain during or after sexual intercourse. The person experiencing pain during sex should avoid certain irritants to prevent their skin from reacting.
  • This may include avoiding certain skin care products, clothing, and even certain lubricants. As a result of the treatment of the person depending on the skin condition, the problem of pain during sexual intercourse disappears.

8. Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is a condition that causes pain in the vulva. The pain tends to be at the entrance to the vagina. Medication or surgery may be needed to treat this condition.

9. Ovarian cysts

  • Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow on the ovaries. Cysts; They can cause a variety of symptoms, including pelvic pain, pain during sex, and difficulty urinating.
  • Your doctor may recommend pain relievers or hormonal birth control to relieve the symptoms of ovarian cysts. In more severe cases, where the cyst causes significant pain and will not go away, surgery may be necessary.

10. Vaginismus

  • Physical therapy
  • Biofeedback / biological feedback
  • Vaginal dilators (Dilator: Channel dilator)
  • Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Medication

11. Vaginitis

  • Vaginitis is a bacterial or fungal infection that causes inflammation in the vagina. Symptoms may include smelly discharge, itching, and pain.
  • For a bacterial infection, a doctor might probably prescribe antibiotics, as well as antifungal medication for a fungal infection.
  • Most women do not show symptoms of vaginitis. In some cases, it is only during a routine gynecological examination that they become infected.

12. Urinary tract infections

  • A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria from the anus or skin travels from the urethra to the bladder or kidneys.
  • Urinary tract infections show similar symptoms to sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, a person should speak to their doctor if they think they have a urinary tract infection or symptoms such as:
    • Frequent urination
    • Pain or burning while urinating
    • Blood in the urine

13. Bladder inflammation

  • Bladder inflammation, or interstitial cystitis, is a chronic condition that causes an irritated or inflamed bladder wall.
  • Some common symptoms include a feeling of pressure or pain around the bladder or pelvis, the need to urinate frequently, and pain during sex.
  • Treatments do not improve the condition, but may provide some relief. Some options include medication, bladder training, and surgery.

14. Bladder prolapse

  • Pelvic floor muscles and tissues provide support to the bladder. Over time or due to injury, this support may weaken, causing the bladder to be pushed against the vagina.
  • While some people may not experience symptoms, some common ones experience pain in the vagina, frequent urinary tract infections, and pain during intercourse.
  • Treatments may include surgery, treatments to strengthen the pelvic floor, and medication.

15. Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that may go undetected for some people. Doctors usually treat chlamydia with antibiotics.

16. Vaginal herpes

  • Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that causes open sores to develop on the genitals.
  • There is currently no cure for herpes, but medications can help reduce the number of infections a person experiences.

17. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is also a sexually transmitted infection. It doesn’t always show symptoms, but if left untreated it can cause serious complications like infertility. Some common symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain during sex

Treatment for gonorrhea

  • Doctors can treat gonorrhea with medication. If a person does not receive treatment for gonorrhea, they may develop pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are now more common, making this infection even more difficult to treat. If the infection does not respond well to treatment or if the person’s symptoms do not improve, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

18. Lichen sclerosus

  • Lichen sclerosis is a rare chronic condition that causes skin inflammation on the outer areas of the genitals. It usually occurs before puberty or after menopause.
  • Lichen sclerosis; may cause pain, burning and itching. It requires aggressive treatment, often using topical steroids to help minimize scarring.
  • Lichen sclerosis currently has no cure, so treatment continues throughout a person’s life.

19. Endometriosis

  • Pain during and after sexual intercourse
  • Infertility
  • General pain in the pelvic region
  • Digestive problems
  • Bleeding or spotting

Treatment methods: Options may include pain medications, hormone therapy, or surgery to remove tissue growths.

20. Trauma from sexual abuse

  • A survivor of sexual abuse may associate sex with pain, causing vaginal tightening and tension during intercourse.
  • If this is the case, a person may wish to speak to their doctor. The doctor may refer the person to a psychiatrist or pelvic floor physical therapist who can help relieve any tension in the pelvic floor muscles.

When should I go to the doctor?

If a person continues to experience painful sex or pain after sex that does not improve with the use of lubricants or other treatment, they should talk to their doctor as soon as possible.
However, if additional symptoms such as itching, burning or foul-smelling discharge are experienced, a doctor should be consulted.

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