These are disorder associated with sexual pain that affects women exclusively. Dyspareunia refers to pain during intercourse while Vaginismus refers to sudden, involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles that interfere with sexual intercourse resulting to a painful sexual experience. Some of the causes of painful intercourse are;
- Infections associated with vaginal yeast
- Rape and other sexually related abuses.
- One witnessing another person being sexually abused is also
- Exposure to domestic violence at an early age
- Fear of pain which comes from the idea that vaginal penetration is painful at the first time.
- General anxiety
- A restrictive upbringing for the woman grows knowing that sex is dirty
Infections associated with the female reproductive system like, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease usually caused by Chlamydia. Also, complications like ectopic pregnancy are known to contribute to painful sex.
Pain during sex can be superficial or deep. There are clearly stipulated causes of superficial pain during penetration. Lack of lubrication is mainly the main cause. This results from short and poorly done fore play. The psychological fear of a woman towards sex in terms of the size of the penis has also been blamed as a cause of painful superficial penetration. Women who are unused to larger men before are susceptible to painful coitus because of fear of pain during penetration. Menopausal and post-menopausal dryness can also cause superficial pain during penetration. This is because of changes in hormonal balances.
Some symptoms of painful intercourse are;
- Burning sensation in the vagina or in the vulva
- Inability to achieve orgasm
- The lack of enough muscle relaxation for intercourse to be possible
- Inadequate production of vaginal lubricants before sex and dryness during sex
- There is low desire for sex (Libido) which is caused by hormonal, psychological or relationship related problems.
There are misconceptions regarding the disorders associated with painful coitus. One of these myths is the belief that sex must be painful. Many women believe that penetration is painful. This is not true. The fact is sex must be enjoyable and pain free if done well under relaxed state of mind for both partners. When a woman experiences pain during sex, she should immediately seek medical attention from a qualified practitioner. Pain during sex is abnormal and should be treated carefully since it can destroy a couple’s sex life.
The prevalence of Vaginismus in Morocco and Sweden are 7%. Prevalence Dyspareunia among the British women is 3% while it is between 18-20% among the Australian women. In a study by Clayton, and Hamilton involving interviewing randomly sampled respondents, it was deduced that, 10-15% of the total respondents who were women had experienced painful intercourse in the last 6 months. This shows that this is a condition that needs to be addressed urgently in the society.
The psychosomatic concept of Dyspareunia and Vaginismus
Sex and sexuality is a delicate subject. Slight psychological inhibition can have extremely detrimental effects on a couple’s sex life. All the body function systems that relay on the autonomic nervous system like cardiovascular system and sexual function are severely affected by cognitive and emotional factors; therefore, they are linked to psychosomatic disorders. When a woman is frightened or angry before or during sexual intercourse, the chances are that she will not produce the natural vaginal lubricants, and this will result into painful intercourse.
Sexual intercourse creates a bond between couples. It is a way of showing intimacy that cannot be neglected in the human society. Without sex, many relationships break. Sex should be performed in a relaxed and comfortable mood in order to achieve its purpose. Sexual disorders are today the main cause of marriage and relationship breakages. When one partner or both do not enjoy the pleasure associated with sex, then a tremendous problem looms. Therefore, sexual disorders like Dyspareunia should be treated urgently and properly.
Treatment of painful intercourse will include measures like;
- The man should take enough time in love play to allow vaginal relaxation and natural flow of the vaginal lubricant.
- In the cases of dryness, the couple should use sex lubricants like Eros.
- Administration of testosterone to women with low levels of androgens is also a treatment strategy for painful coitus.
For those with menopausal and post-menopausal