WHAT IS PAINFUL INTERCOURSE?
Painful Intercourse or Genito-Pelvic Pain / Penetration Disorder (GPPPD) can affect both men and women but it is a significantly more common female sexual concern. Other than causing physical discomfort, pain during penetration has negative emotional effects on both the woman and her partner and it often causes problems in relationship. Other names frequently used in the context of painful intercourse or penetration are Dyspareunia, Vaginismus or Vulvodynia.
CAUSES OF GPPPD
Painful penetration is often caused by insufficient lubrication. Other times, painful penetration can be caused by involuntary spasm in the vaginal muscles (sometimes brought on by fear of being hurt), vaginal infection, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis (when he tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside the uterus), inflammation in pelvis, ectopic pregnancy, menopause, STDs, chronic pain of labia, clitoris and vaginal opening or injuries to the vulva or vagina.
TREATMENT OF GPPPD
Insufficient lubrication can be remedied if the female becomes more relaxed, if the amount of foreplay is increased, or if the couple uses an appropriate lubricant. Treatments of GPPPD may include medical and psychological interventions as well as physical therapy with a pelvic floor specialist.
When the underlying causes are neither medical nor anatomical, sex therapy is an effective treatment option. Sex therapy will involve addressing and resolving issues such as guilt, inner conflicts regarding sex or feelings about past sexual trauma.
If pain during penetration occurs in the context of an established relationship, sex therapy with both partners is recommended.
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