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Why Sex Can Be Painful and What You Can Do About It

No matter how much you enjoy your partner and the pleasure that physical and emotional closeness can create, pain during sex may cause you to avoid intimacy whenever possible. This can create problems in a relationship and may leave you feeling responsible.

It doesn’t help, either, when you or your partner begin to wonder if it’s all in your mind. There are some emotional issues that may be clouding your view of sex, such as fear of intimacy or lack of self-confidence that make you feel tense and unresponsive.

Very often, however, the pain that’s keeping you from enjoying sex is due to a physical issue that’s treatable. For instance, age-related changes to your vaginal tissue, ovarian cysts, and even an allergic reaction to your feminine hygiene products can create pain during sex.

Although it’s a sensitive topic that most women don’t like to share with others, a frank and honest discussion with a specialist such as Dr. Kohli is the first step in overcoming the challenges that painful sex can create for your physical as well as emotional health and wellbeing.

What physical conditions cause pain during sex?

There are numerous physical issues that can cause painful sexual intercourse. Some are related to age and others are chronic conditions that often start during your childbearing years. Still others are due to bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections.

Some of the most common conditions known to cause pain during sex include:

What treatments are available for painful sex?

The most effective treatment depends on the cause of your symptoms. Once Dr. Kohli diagnoses the underlying reason for your symptoms, he creates a treatment strategy tailored to fit your needs.

If you’re experiencing problems associated with pelvic organ prolapse, for instance, Dr. Kohli may recommend physical therapy exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback and pelvic floor stimulation are also effective for pain due to pelvic organ prolapse.

If the pelvic organ prolapse is significant, he may suggest a minimally invasive surgical procedure to provide additional support for your pelvic organs. Dr. Kohli is a gifted and highly respected surgeon, but you can rely on him to take a nonsurgical treatment approach whenever possible.

Changes associated with menopause often respond quite well to treatment with estrogen creams and other medications that can help restore moisture and healthy function to your vaginal tissue.

Bacterial infections are best treated with antibiotics while endometriosis may respond to hormone manipulation with certain birth control medications.

What if painful sex is due to an emotional issue?

Though negative past experiences, fear of intimacy, or low self-esteem may trigger your emotional self, they can also create real physical changes, such as vaginal tightness and lack of lubrication, that may lead to painful sexual intercourse. It’s important to resolve underlying issues that are causing you physical or emotional pain, and Dr. Kohli is happy to make referrals to a qualified counselor, when necessary.   

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