Dealing with intimate pain


WOMEN often keep silent about experiencing pain during vaginal intercourse because they feel they have a duty to meet their partner’s sexual needs. Eventually symptoms including loss of sexual interest, mood changes and other psychological or somatic symptoms may develop.

Dyspareunia is defined as persistent or recurrent pain occurring with either attempted or complete vaginal penetration. Dyspareunia is also classified according to the anatomical site: entry or superficial, vaginal and deep.

Pain with intercourse affects about 8–22% of women and is more likely to occur in younger women, mainly in 16–39-year-olds. However, an increasing number of postmenopausal women also complain of dyspareunia mainly due to the atrophic skin changes.

History and Examination

Many women are reluctant to volunteer information about their sexual lives so it is important that initial