CAUSES OF PAIN DURING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE - VULVODYNIA
One of the causes of pain during sexual intercourse is vulvodynia. Vulvodynia means pain in the vulva. It is a syndrome characterized by chronic vulvar discomfort, especially burning, stinging, irritation or rawness. Typically, the vulva is so sensitive that even light pressure can be painful. Women with vulvodynia may even experience discomfort from clothing such as tight jeans. The condition can be extremely debilitating and can affect her whole outlook on life. Career, family life and relationships may suffer as a result.
Vulvodynia is also a quite common condition affecting approximately 15% of all women. Sometimes a woman with vulvodynia may have a rash or scaly patches on her vulva with visible areas of redness or irritation. But in other cases, no physical abnormalities of the vagina can be observed. Because the symptoms of vulvodynia may be so variable, the condition is commonly misdiagnosed.
Physicians may even mistakenly suggest that the symptoms result from a psychological condition. However, vulvodynia is a pain condition resulting from physical factors. It is common for women experiencing vulvodynia to suffer for many years and to see many doctors before being correctly diagnosed. However, an increasing number of physicians have become more knowledgeable about vulvodynia and can help women with the condition.
Causes of Vulvodynia
The exact causes of vulvodynia are unknown. However, it is thought that neurological injury may be involved in some types of vulvodynia. In other cases, a skin condition or dermatoses may cause the pain. Women experiencing vulvodynia may have a history of recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Also external causes such as previous treatment such as laser surgery or sensitivity to corticosteroid drugs may play a role. In some cases, the entire vulva may be involved and in other cases only a portion of the vulva surrounding the entry to the vagina – the vestibule - may be involved. This type of vulvodynia is known as the vestibulitis.