Pain during penetration can happen. At first, you may not want to talk about it, preferring to tell yourself that it's normal, that it will pass. But then the pain persists, and you may close in on yourself, to avoid talking about it. To such an extent that you end up dreading sexual intercourse.
Discover our latest podcast
But the phenomenon known as dyspareunia can be treated. So it's best to talk to your partner and your doctor straight away. That way, you can avoid suffering in silence, and find solutions tailored to your situation.
Dyspareunia is a widespread sexual disorder
Behind this scientific name lies an ailment experienced by 30% of women aged between 18 and 69. This is what a survey on sexuality reveals: 3 out of 10 women say they have had painful intercourse in the last 12 months.
However, not all pain is the same: it can be deep or superficial, occasional or chronic... Identify your symptoms and describe them as precisely as possible to your gynaecologist, who will suggest a treatment specific to your case.
Read more:Painful sex: The potentially dangerous reason why you feel pains during intercourse
When the pain is on the surface, it is superficial dyspareunia
Pain is felt at the entrance to the vagina: itching, burning, tingling, irritation. The most common causes are usually a yeast infection, a vaginal infection or dryness due to a hormonal deficiency. The doctor thus prescribes the appropriate treatment, and everything should return to normal very quickly.
For women who have just had a baby, episiotomy during childbirth can also cause pain. The vagina has been cut and sutured, and the tissue is still raw. In this case, the key word is patience. You need to take a break, and let it heal. But fortunately, sex isn't just about penetration. There's caressing, cunnilingus and many other ways of pleasuring yourself in the meantime.
When the pain runs deep, it is deep dyspareunia
In this case, the pain is felt in the lower abdomen, during penetration, or only in certain positions. And the causes may be different: endometriosis, infection of the fallopian tubes or uterus, cysts, etc. In most cases, this type of pain can be detected by pelvic ultrasound. Here again, the gynaecologist will find suitable treatments. Unfortunately, in the case of endometriosis, we know that science is still searching.
Finally, there is another possible explanation for the pain: a psychological cause that may be blocking the process. If, after all your gynaecological examinations, you hear the distasteful phrase 'it's all in your head', go and see a sexologist, midwife or physiotherapist specialising in sexology. Because you mustn't be left alone with this pain. Each woman, depending on her own history, can find a solution: relaxing the perineum, making the area more sensitive, working on breathing, reclaiming her body. The important thing is to break the silence.
This article has been translated Oh!MyMag FR.
Mayo Clinic: Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)