Sunday, January 20, 2013

Resolutions for a Pain-Free New Year

Ah, the new year. With it comes a sense of hope for the future and a renewed vigor to improve your life. That's right, I'm talking about resolutions. Many people make resolutions about getting healthy and in shape, and many look at other ways to better their lives and relationships. I've heard of some people making resolutions to improve their sex lives or to make more time for sex with their partner, as with the busy lives we lead, this can often be placed on the back burner.

But what if sex hurts? Too many women think that this is just the way it is when you get older or have had children, or gone through menopause. And for some women, painful sex is the only kind they have ever experienced. They become resigned to a life of painful or uncomfortable sex, or no sex at all. I have many patients who, by the time they find our clinic, haven't had sex in years. This can definitely have a negative effect on one's relationship, and I am here to help.

Over the next several blog posts I am going to be talking about Dyspareunia  (pronounced dis-pa-roo-nia) which is a diagnosis of painful intercourse. This is something that can affect up to 1 in 5 women, and is one of the most common pain problems in gynecological practice. 

Dyspareunia can be caused by many things, including:
  • vaginal dryness
  • vaginal tissue atrophy associated with hormone changes
  • pelvic floor muscle tension
  • psychological factors leading to involuntary muscle spasms
  • neurological dysfunction

The problem is that many women don't talk about this issue with their doctors or even their friends because they are convinced that they are alone in this problem, or that there is nothing that can be done to change it. However, I am here to tell you that Dyspareunia is treatable! Over the next few weeks, I will be talking about many common diagnoses that contribute to Dyspareunia and what you can do about it.

Come back for my next post where I will be discussing one of the most simple ways to make sex more comfortable...lubrication!