Dyspareunia | Elevation of the Perineum with thebuttpillow

What is Dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia (difficult mating) is defined as genital pain that occurs before, during, or after intercourse.

This is not a well understood condition, and it can be lifelong or acquired.

If dyspareunia has not always been present, it usually occurs ten years after the start of sexual activity.

How Common is Dyspareunia?

“Dyspareunia is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions seen by gynecologists and is estimated to affect about two-thirds of women during their lifetime, (Marinoff, S.C. and Turner, M.L.C., 1993).”

The medical literature does not quantify the number of men faced with this problem.

Dyspareunia Sufferers should Consider the Mind and Body

Dyspareunia can have psychological as well as physical factors.  It is important to consider both the mind and the body in any treatment regimen.

According to Novak’s Textbook of Gynecology, 12th Edition, by Jonathan S. Berek, 1996:

 “Psychological factors contributing to dyspareunia include:

  • Development factors, e.g., an upbringing that invested sex with guilt and shame;

  • “Traumatic factors, e.g., childhood sexual abuse or other sexual assault;

  • “Relationship factors, e.g., anger and resentment toward a sexual partner.”

“The repeated experience of pain during intercourse can cause marked distress, anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties leading to anticipation of a negative sexual experience and eventually to sexual avoidance (American Psychiatric Association, 4th ed. 1994).”

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