Dyspareunia is painful sexual intercourse due to medical or psychological causes. The pain can primarily be on the external surface of the genitalia, or deeper in the pelvis upon deep pressure against the cervix. It can affect a small portion of the vulva or vagina or be felt all over the surface. Understanding the duration, location, and nature of the pain is important in identifying the causes of the pain.
Numerous physical, psychological, and social or relationship causes can contribute to pain during sexual encounters. Commonly, multiple underlying causes contribute to the pain. The pain can be acquired or congenital. Symptoms of dyspareunia may also occur after menopause.
Globally, dyspareunia has been estimated to affect between 8–21% of women, at some point in their lives. There is no reason to feel alone and Dr. Sodhi can help you formulate a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
Dr. Sodhi will make a diagnosis of dyspareunia typically by taking a detailed medical history and performing a thorough physical exam. She will try to determine the underlying causes and use that to guide treatment. There are often psychological factors that cause or contribute to the pain so being completely open and honest with yourself and Dr. Sodhi will help her to make appropriate recommendations for you.
Treatment may include creams or prescription medications for vaginitis, topical estrogen, lubricants or ThermiVA vaginal rejuvenation for dryness as well as orgasmic disorders, or medications or surgery for deep pelvic conditions. Also available are ayurvedic formulations to address stress/anxiety and specialty probiotics that can help support healthy vaginal tissue. Dr. Sodhi may also discuss and refer you for sex therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy as well as psychotherapy in certain situations where these treatments are indicated.