When most of us think of sex, we associate it with pleasure and intimacy. It’s a source of feel-good endorphins and strengthens the bond we have with our partners (and it’s a lot of fun). Would it surprise you to learn that nearly 75% of women experience painful intercourse at some point in their lives? It’s one of the common concerns we address with our patients in our Dallas practice. The good news is that it’s usually caused by something temporary and treatable.
Some of the more frequently seen triggers for sexual discomfort can range from using irritating hygiene and personal care products to vaginal infections. The remedies for these are often simple solutions such as switching personal care products or, if the root of the issue is an actual infection, using a topical or oral medication prescribed by your gynecologist.
Another prevalent cause for painful intercourse is a condition called vulvo-vaginal atrophy (VVA). VVA is the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decrease in estrogen. This condition most often occurs after menopause, but can also be triggered during breast feeding or other times estrogen levels decrease and following chemotherapy and/or hormonal cancer treatments.