Treating Sexual Pain Disorders

Man and womanHaving a healthy sex life is important, but for many women, sex can come with pain or embarrassment and is not pleasurable. Sexual pain disorders can affect all women, regardless of age, weight, or ethnicity. There are many possible causes, and many treatment options.

The sexual health specialists at GW Hospital can help find the cause of the pain, develop a treatment plan to remedy the situation, and make sex more enjoyable for you and your partner.

Schedule an Appointment

Please fill out our general appointment form below or call our referral service at 888-4GW-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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Causes of Sexual Pain

There are both physical and psychological reasons why you may be feeling pain during sex or simply not enjoying the experience as much as you would like.

Physical Causes

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Persistent yeast infections
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Side effects from hormonal contraceptives
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Tight pelvic floor muscles
  • Urinary problems
  • Vaginal thinning and dryness with menopause
  • Vulvar skin disorders

Psychological Causes

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Prior history of abuse
  • Stress

Other Possible Causes

  • Alcohol
  • Anti-depressant medications
  • Birth control pills
  • Diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Recreational drug use
  • Smoking

Diagnosis and Treatment

A full medical history will be performed, including blood and urine tests. This will help us determine if the issue is primarily congenital, hormonal, musculoskeletal or neurologic in origin. Depending on the results of the tests and exam, there are several treatment options that may be recommended.

  • Changing birth control. Your birth control could be causing your lubrication and pain issues. Simply changing it may fix the problem.
  • Topical medication. This may help post-menopausal patients and younger women on long-term birth control pills.
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy. This may benefit women with tight pelvic floor muscles. It can help restore blood flow to the area and decrease pain during sex.
  • Counseling. The pain you have been experiencing may be causing you to pull away from your partner, both physically and emotionally. Counseling can help restore that much desired intimacy.