Nearly one in 10 British women finds sex painful, according to a big study. The survey of nearly 7, sexually active women aged 16 to 74, in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , suggests this medical problem - called dyspareunia - is common and affects women of all ages. Women in their late 50s and early 60s are most likely to be affected, followed by women aged Painful sex was strongly linked to other sexual problems, including vaginal dryness, feeling anxious during sex, and lack of enjoyment of sex. However, there can be lots of different physical, psychological and emotional factors causing painful sex, which can be complex to treat. Karen not her real name is 62 and from Greater London.
Why is sex painful for some women – and what can they do? | Sexual health | The Guardian
Pain during or after sexual intercourse is known as dyspareunia. Although this problem can affect men, it is more common in women. Women with dyspareunia may have pain in the vagina, clitoris or labia. There are numerous causes of dyspareunia, many of which are treatable.
Deeper internal pain may be due to a penis or sex toy touching the neck of the womb, or ovaries, and having sex in a different position may help. Problems such as skin disorders, herpes infections or thrush can make intercourse very uncomfortable or painful. There is always an emotional and frequently hidden component to any sexual problem, whether cause or effect, and that aspect should be acknowledged by your doctor. In older women, particularly those who are post-menopausal, your vagina may be dry and inflamed due to a lack of oestrogen — a hormone that helps to keep the vagina moist.
Millions of women experience pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse—a condition called dyspareunia from the Greek dyspareunos , meaning "badly mated". This condition not only saps sexual desire and enjoyment, it can also strain relationships and erode quality of life in general. For postmenopausal women, dyspareunia may also raise concerns about aging and body image.