Painful Intercourse

Julia Raber, MD

Gynecologist located in New Hyde Park, NY

Painful intercourse may be an intimate problem, but it is not an uncommon one. About 75% of women experience pain or discomfort during sex at some point in their lives. Although the problem can have a variety of possible causes, it is often the result of hormone-related vaginal dryness. Board-certified gynecologist Dr. Julia Raber in New Hyde Park, New York, specializes in diagnosing and treating women who are affected by pain during intercourse. If you are in Long Island or the greater New York City area, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

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Painful Intercourse Q & A

What are the symptoms of painful intercourse?

Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful vaginal intercourse that occurs either frequently or all the time. If you have been diagnosed with dyspareunia, it means you usually feel genital pain just before, during, or after you have sexual intercourse.

For some women, dyspareunia takes the form of pain during penetration, while other women feel deep pain with each thrust. Dyspareunia can cause pain that emerges following normal sex, or aching vaginal pain that lasts long after sex is over.  

What causes painful intercourse?

A wide range of underlying factors and conditions can result in painful sex, including medical problems, gynecological conditions, and emotional issues.

Emotions or relationship worries that make it difficult for you to relax when you are intimate with your partner can make vaginal penetration feel uncomfortable, as it is harder to experience normal arousal and lubrication when you are tense.

Prescription drugs, including certain birth control medications, can also interfere with your sexual response and lead to painful intercourse.   

Although there are many gynecological problems that can cause painful intercourse, including vaginismus (the reflex contraction of vaginal muscles during penetration) and vulvodynia (a common pain disorder that affects the vulva), vaginal atrophy is one of the leading causes of sexual pain.

Vaginal atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis, occurs when declining estrogen levels leave your vaginal tissues thinner, drier, less elastic, and more fragile. While the condition is most common among postmenopausal women, it also affects women whose estrogen levels have been diminished by a hysterectomy or cancer treatment.

How is painful intercourse treated?

Because painful intercourse can be caused by a range of underlying problems, treatment options can be equally diverse.

Some women may find success simply by changing a prescription medication that interferes with natural lubrication, while others may benefit most from physical therapy, psychological therapy, or even certain lifestyle changes.

For the majority of postmenopausal women affected by painful intercourse, Dr. Raber can provide effective, long-lasting relief with MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy.

MonaLisa Touch uses stimulating CO2 laser energy to revitalize your vaginal tissue and restore proper trophic balance to your vaginal canal. As your tissue transforms at the cellular level over the course of three quick in-office treatments, each spaced six weeks apart, you can expect to experience an increase in lubrication, elasticity, and sensation once again.

When it comes to addressing hormone-related sexual pain, MonaLisa Touch has an 80% success rate, which means that eight out of 10 women see substantial improvement two to three months after the third treatment session.

To learn more, call Dr. Raber’s New Hyde Park office today, or schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking tool.