Though some women may feel that their vagina burns after sex and make the assumption that their pain is simply due to a particularly active sexual encounter, most reasons for vaginal pain are related to serious issues including vaginal infections and should therefore be discussed with a medical specialist such as a urogynecologist.
The Painful Truth
Proper treatment to relieve vaginal pain will rely on accurately diagnosing its cause, which can include some very commonly known conditions including:
- A sexually transmitted infection such as herpes, which also presents itself with sharp vaginal pain and blisters and will require medication to treat and manage.
- Dryness of the vagina, which will often cause vaginal discomfort during sexual intercourse and may even lead to pain after sex. It is generally related to a hormone imbalance, which may be the result of menopausal changes in older women or even the use of low-dose estrogen birth control by younger women.
- Endometriosis, which occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The condition will cause vaginal pain during intercourse as well as excessive bleeding and pelvic pain during the menstrual cycle. Diagnosis can be made with a female pelvic exam and an ultrasound, and proper methods of treatment include hormone therapies and pain medication.
- Much like endometriosis, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), which is essentially an infected vagina and an infection of the surrounding reproductive organs, causes pain during sexual penetration and during menses. As in the case of endometriosis, diagnosis can only be properly made after a pelvic examination.
- Vaginal itching and dryness that accompanies a yeast infection can often be misinterpreted as vaginal pain because of the degree of discomfort it causes, but the infection isn’t actually a painful one. Nonetheless, it needs to be treated properly in order for the symptoms to be relieved and will generally require the use of an anti-fungal cream.
- Vaginal pain experienced during sexual penetration or at the insertion of a tampon is often clinically referred to as vulvodynia, a mysterious condition that can be intermittent and is sometimes unrelated to touching the vagina in any way. It can be treated with a topical medication to manage the nerve sensitivity in the area.
Being a woman shouldn’t be a pain! Call the team at Coyle Institute today!