If you experience pain, dryness, or discomfort when you have sex, you may no longer be enjoying yourself. Though it might be hard to talk about, it’s important to recognize that painful sex isn’t normal — and you’re not alone.
About 75% of women experience pain with intercourse at some point in their lives. Painful sex is often a symptom of something else, and treating the underlying cause can help you reclaim the pleasure of sexual intimacy again.
Heather Auld, MD, and our team at SWFL Integrative Medicine are here to help women in Fort Myers, Florida. We specialize in integrative care for women and offer a range of solutions to make sex more comfortable from lifestyle changes to hormone replacement therapy.
Painful sex includes any type of discomfort that you feel during sexual intercourse. Your pain may be sharp and intense with vaginal penetration, a dull ache that lingers long after you’re finished, or something in between.
There are many possible causes of painful sex, but it can often occur around life events like pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. These events trigger physical and hormonal changes in your body, and all too often, they change your sex life too.
Low levels of estrogen (a key female hormone) can often cause changes like:
In many cases, these symptoms work together to make vaginal penetration painful. To top it off, pain makes the thought of sex unappealing, and your sex drive may also suffer.
Although hormonal changes are one of the most common causes of painful sex, they’re not the only cause. Certain gynecological conditions, like cysts or endometriosis, may also make sexual intercourse painful.
Sex shouldn’t be painful. If you regularly suffer pain when you have sex, it may be time to schedule an appointment with our team. It might feel awkward to talk about your sex life with your doctor, but we’re here to help.
Dr. Auld and our team often start with a comprehensive physical and pelvic exam. We ask questions about your symptoms and review your medical history. If we identify a gynecologic condition that’s making sex painful, treating it can relieve symptoms. Common methods include hormonal birth control or minimally invasive gynecologic procedures.
If your symptoms are related to perimenopause or menopause, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Auld uses bioidentical hormones to replicate the hormones your body is missing, which can be very effective in relieving menopause-related symptoms.
Along with these treatments, our team can talk with you about the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes and nutrition coaching. Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and other simple steps can help regulate hormones naturally and reduce symptoms of painful intercourse.
It’s possible to enjoy sex again — and you deserve a satisfying sex life. To learn more about our treatments for painful sex, contact our team at SWFL Integrative Medicine online or over the phone.