Painful Intercourse — St. Mark’s Center for Women’s Health

(soft guitar music) – There’s a variety of things that can cause pain with intercourse. And when someone is having
difficulty with pain, the first thing we do is get a history as to how long that has occurred, if it happened with the first
episode of sexual activity. Or if she did fine for some period of time and then started to have pain. Because that will help give clues as to why pain might be occurring. We’ll evaluate where
the pain is happening. Is the pain right at the vaginal opening, or is it occurring with deeper
penetration into the vagina? And does it occur with every
episode of intercourse? Is it only intermittent? I see women every day in my
practice with these conditions. Those conditions are treatable
and we can manage them. They may not be cured, but most women can be managed such that they’ll be able to be
in a sexual relationship and have sex that’s comfortable. I think for younger women
who have pain with sex, such a good thing to come
and get it figured out. Because when women have pain with sex, that can’t help but affect
their sexual desire. Nobody looks forward to
sex when it’s painful. And that starts to spill over into the rest of their relationships, especially if they’re just
young and new relationships. And so even those women very young, I think it’s important for
them to be seen early on. There’s some data that says that women who are on birth control pills may be at higher risk for vulvodynia. So we may need to manage
their contraception in a different fashion. But the key is to get it evaluated. Because if it hurts,
there’s something wrong. And we need to treat it. (soft guitar music)

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