Do you feel pain during sex? Dr Natalia Novikova, aesthetic gynaecologist, gets to the bottom of what could be causing the problem.
Pain at the entrance of the vagina during penetrative sex is commonly caused by vaginismus, although there could be other reasons which your doctor can diagnose.
Vaginismus is a condition triggered by a variety of factors, such as an unpleasant sexual experience, a strict upbringing putting a shameful emphasis on sex or a medical condition, like vaginal infection, thrush or a bladder infection that might cause pain or discomfort during sex.
Painful sex or the thought and anticipation of pain creates pathological signals in the brain that cause the vaginal muscles to contract.
Read more: 8 reasons why you’re having painful sex
This makes penetration very painful and sometimes impossible. Treatment usually involves psychological counselling and using vaginal dilators. It does bring results, but in my practice, I often meet patients who have tried the traditional methods for years with little success.
Interestingly, the injection of botox into the vaginal muscle is very effective and a quick cure for vaginismus. It’s performed with local anaesthesia or, in severe cases, under general anaesthetic.
Read more: 7 times your vagina hurts during sex – and what the pain means
Following this, I advise a patient to use dilators or a vibrator by herself to teach herself that vaginal penetration is not painful. Once she is comfortable doing this, she progresses to doing it with her partner and only once she is comfortable with him inserting the vibrator will they proceed to having penetration with the penis, preferably starting with positions where the woman is in control.
The aim is to recreate a positive sexual experience and eliminate fear. This treatment has wonderful results in my practice.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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