Sexual Health Q&A

What is dyspareunia?

The term “dyspareunia” means painful intercourse. A woman may feel pain at the start of penetration or with deep penetration. Or, pain may happen only with specific partners or in certain positions.

There are many reasons a woman may experience pain during intercourse. Here are the most common ones:

• poor lubrication
• medical conditions (such as ovarian cysts or pelvic inflammatory disease)
• allergies
• birth control devices that don’t fit correctly
• relationship/emotional problems
• vaginismus

Many of these issues can be treated easily under a doctor’s care.