What Is Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia is the medical term for persistent or recurrent pelvic or genital pain that occurs just before, during, or after intercourse.

A vast majority of women experience pain during sex at least occasionally and many report that they experience this type of pain persistently, yet more often than not these issues are ignored and left untreated. Instead of getting a correct diagnosis for these symptoms, many women suffer in silence, or worse, blame themselves.

Many women have painful intercourse at some point in their lives. A dyspareunia specialist can offer much needed help to resolve these issues and help you navigate sexual intercourse more comfortably.

In order for your Viva Eve dyspareunia specialist to correctly diagnose the cause for your discomfort, you need to do your best to describe the type of pain you are experiencing as accurately as possible.

Vaginal Pain

Vaginal pain, sometimes described as spasms, tightness, or stinging during intercourse of even when you try to put the tampon in.


Pain During Sex

Pain during sex that occurs deeper in the pelvic area and may include abdominal or rectal pain.



Discomfort caused by general vaginal dryness and irritation.


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Dyspareunia can have various causes.


  • Vaginismus (spasm in the pelvic floor muscles)
  • Vulvodynia (chronic vulva discomfort, typically around the opening of the vagina, the exact location and how chronic or severe the pain is can vary)
  • Infections in the pelvic area
  • Obstetric trauma, related to vaginal delivery
  • Structural issues, cysts, fibroids (benign growths in and around your uterus), or endometriosis (endometrial tissue. growing outside the uterus).
  • Psychological issues (prior negative sexual experiences)

How does your dyspareunia specialist diagnose the cause of your dypareunia?

Your Viva Eve dyspareunia specialist reaches a diagnosis of dyspareunia through a thorough history, examination, and relevant tests. Knowing when your pain started and where you feel it gives your gynecologist clues about your condition. Other information — about medications, habits, treatments, or surgeries you have had — paint a clearer picture. Tests can range from blood tests to ultrasounds. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to rule out other causes.

What are the treatment options for dyspareunia?

Because the causes for dyspareunia vary so widely, the treatment options will vary as well. What we can promise is that your Viva Eve gynecologist will get to the root of the problem and do everything possible to provide a solution.

Your doctor may recommend any of the treatment options below:

  • Physical therapy and pelvic floor exercises
  • Hormonal/Estrogen therapy
  • Diet adjustments
  • Relevant information on better sex practices and a change in habits
  • Fibroid treatment, including Uterine Fibroid Embolization
  • Surgery
  • Counseling

The most important thing in trying to find the cause and treatment for painful sex is starting a conversation — with yourself, with your partner, and with your dyspareunia specialist.


The American Academy of Family Physicians says that up to 20 percent of women experience pelvic pain after or during sex.

Men can suffer from dyspareunia as well, but it is a lot more common in women. Your dyspareunia specialist can offer insight into this important question.

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