Here's Why You Should Never Ignore Painful Sex
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A little 50-shades-of-grey-like pain is okay from time to time, if you’re into BDSM, that is. But if the old-fashioned, hackneyed style of intercourse is causing you discomfort or pain, then it mustn’t be taken lightly.In my short time on this planet, I’ve heard inestimable number of women talk about their amorous encounters and they all had one thing in common— whenever pain came into the picture, they were too embarrassed to bring it up right then in the fear of spoiling ‘the mood’. Not only that, most of us would just shrug it off even later and absolutely disregard the idea of a gynaecological exam.
If the American Council of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are to be believed, nearly 75 per cent of women experience pain during intercourse at some point in their lives. So, you aren’t alone and there isn’t anything terribly wrong with you. Having said that, experiencing any kind of undesirable pain during sex is unequivocally something that must be looked into. The medical term for the condition is ‘dyspareunia’ and it refers to any kind of pain that accompanies sex – during or after.
The sad fact is that while there are umpteen studies on male sexual dysfunction (think: erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation), there isn’t much talked about female sexual dysfunction. Even medical practitioners tend to send you home with just a tube of lube. So, let’s talk about lady problems for once, shall we?
Pain during intercourse may arise from a number of issues – some of them harmless, and some of them a little more serious, even if they’re not life threatening per say. Here are some of the latter that constitute the sole reason why you should not ignore painful sex.
- Vaginal Dryness: One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to women’s sexual health is that vaginal dryness is something only for post-menopausal women to worry about. The truth is, vaginal dryness can affect a woman regardless of her age and background due to a number of different reasons— stress, low oestrogen, chemical soaps, swimming pool water, and harsh detergents, being on top of the list. It could also be because of insufficient foreplay, meaning that the lady isn’t aroused enough.
- Vaginismus: A condition characterised by the involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that is believed to be triggered by sexual anxiety. Even though the cause is majorly psychological, the symptoms experienced are real and physical, like vaginal pain, tightness, burning, and discomfort. An unpleasant sexual encounter due to vaginismus would further discourage the woman, making the episode more and more likely in the future. Vaginismus is entirely curable, but most definitely manageable. A combination of mental and physical interventions may help women and their partners manage the triggers better and lead a completely fulfilling sexual life.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when pathogens, mostly bacteria, travel up the reproductive tract all the way to the reproductive organs such as uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, and cause an infection. The entry of these pathogens may be due to chlamydia or gonorrhoea, unclean intrauterine device insertion or abortion procedures. The key symptoms of the PID are foul-smelling discharge, lower back pain, untimely spotting, and a deep, dull ache that is exacerbated during sex. When left untreated, the condition can even lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy; medical intervention therefore, becomes critical if you experience these symptoms.
- The Less-notorious Culprits: Sexually transmitted disease, venereal infections, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, irritable bowel syndrome, and a few other ordinarily unsuspected conditions may be the root of the pain women may experience during sex (and otherwise). The key differentiating factor here is that the pain may be felt a little deeper in the vagina, as opposed to the pain with vaginal dryness or vaginismus.
Women’s bodies are nothing short of an enigma. Thousands of internal changes occur in our bodies every month – starting from when the egg is released from the ovaries, to when the uterine lining is shed – giving us the extraordinary ability to create life. So, not only should we acknowledge how invaluable our bodies are, we should also give it some due credit and vow to take better care of it. No one but you know your body’s natural rhythm— its curves and edges, strengths and struggles, joys and woes. Therefore, there is no better person to know when something seems a little out of order. All I ask of you is to not give it an ignorant brush off the next time, and to take that extra effort and address it in time.