Vaginal Pain - Managing & How to Improve Your Sex Life
 

Vaginal PAIN

how to improve your sex life

It is not uncommon for women with lowered sexual interest uncover that the origin of their lowered sexual desire originates from vaginal pain. This is often a result of careful consideration and discussion. There are some helpful techniques and basic strategies that a woman can implement in order to maintain, and even improve her sex life. Here are some helpful suggestions:

Get the Correct Diagnosis

Vaginal pain can be caused by a variety of problems including discharge, infections, vaginitis or even vulvodynia. Understanding the origin of the problem can lead to correct and effective treatment. There are a variety of different types of painful intercourse. Two of them are insertional pain, when the penis or any other object enters the vaginal canal, and deep dysparenuia, pain more commonly felt during thrusting and penetration. This may indicate that another problem such as endometriosis may exist. The quality of the pain, whether it is burning, or pressure, should be reported. Any discharge should also be evaluated and any infection should be treated. The vagina, bladder and rectum are in close proximity so it’s important to understand that vaginal pain should not be ignored and seeking a correct diagnosis is the first step towards maintaining a healthy sex life. Do not ignore vaginal symptoms or pain. Keep the channels of communication open and seek medical care early. You may consider bringing your partner to the visit for added help.

Simple Solutions

Sometimes there are simple solutions to help minimize vaginal pain and painful intercourse. If vaginal dryness is a concern then consider using vaginal moisturizers that can help hydrate and revive the vaginal tissues. Be certain to read labels and it may be wise to avoid products with additives like warming, flavor or colors as they may irritate a dry and sensitive vagina. If there is insertional pain when the penis or an object touches the vaginal opening, or the opening is feeling excessively tight, you may consider using progressive dilators to help stretch this tissue. Many sexual medicine specialists have formalized dilator programs where you can work with your health care professional to overcome this vaginal tightness problem. Sometimes vaginal pain is more prevalent in a particular position so an easy solution could be to avoid some specific positions and use other ones which are less painful.  Some women find missionary position (man on top) particularly painful as this position facilitates deep penetration. Alternative sexual positioning such as side to side or female superior may be enough change that sex is no longer painful. Try to experiment with different sexual positions. There are many books available on line or at your local books store which can help with sexual positions. Many couples prefer The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort.

Redefine Sex

Most couples think of sex as vaginal, penile intercourse. However, vaginal pain can be so severe that penetration may not be feasible. A return to foreplay or incorporating “outer-course” activities may be helpful in maintaining sexual intimacy and excitement. Explore other areas besides the vagina and vulvar and discover some erogenous zones you have been previously neglected. The nipples, underarms, face, eyes and lips can be sensuous. Discuss your sexual script (what you actually do with your partner during sexual activities) with your partner. Try to shift the focus from sexual goals of intra-vaginal penetration with ejaculation to one of sexual pleasure and satisfaction.

Sexual Exploration

Many couples face sexual boredom when they have been intimate with the same partner for many years.  When faced with vaginal pain during sex, redefining sex is important so focusing on new novel activities may be helpful to address the absence of vaginal penetration. Change in routine helps change sexual hormones and it may, in fact, increase bonding between couples.  When the vagina intimacy is too painful, try a sensual bath together or a sensual massage surrounded by aromatic scented candles in mood lighting. New sexual adventures can also be exciting. Some couples try costumes or sexual accessories like self stimulators, enhancers or even role playing.

Most enjoy sexual activity during a vacation where the scenery is different, so consider trying a “staycation.” Bring vacation sexual encounters home, by trying intimacy in another room other than the master bedroom or intimacy with your clothes on. Change your routine from morning to night or meet at home mid-day for a short and quick sensual rendezvous! Using your imagination is all you really need to help spice up a ho-hum boring sex life!

Get Professional Help

Sometimes vaginal pain can lead to sexual communication breakdowns and many couples feel despair because they see themselves drifting further and further apart. It is important to know that there are sexual health care professional who are specifically trained and certified to address relationship concerns when it pertains to sexual problems. Do not be afraid, embarrassed or feel isolated that you are alone.  Vaginal pain is a serious medical concern which should not be ignored and it often won’t resolve itself. Seeking professional help or counseling is not a failure but often is the first step towards sexual recovery. Some important resources to find qualified sexual counselor and therapists include:  The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (www.isswsh.org), The American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors and Therapist (www.aasect.org) and The International Society for Sexual Medicine (www.issm.org).   

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Symptoms

Read more about symptoms affecting the vulva and vagina that may be causing discomfort or pain.

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Disorders

Read more about vulvar and vaginal disorders that affect women and their quality of life.

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