Sexual Wellness

Discourse About Intercourse Miniseries

May 3, 2023

By: Rachel Noonan, PharmD

Longing for intimacy, but distressing symptoms are holding you back? Let’s talk about Dyspareunia, also known as persistent painful intercourse. It can feel like burning discomfort within the vaginal opening or deeper. Mild vaginal dryness can quickly develop into irritated, raw tissue in desperate need of moisture. Hormonal imbalances triggered by perimenopause are often the source of the problem, and if left untreated, will only worsen with time.

What are the options?

  • For an in-the-moment fix, lubricants or moisturizers are accessible and easy to use. They may help temporarily increase comfort and pleasure but will not address the underlying cause of problematic symptoms.
  • For sustained support, address vaginal dryness with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Vaginal preparations with estrogen can improve vaginal lubrication and repair vaginal tissue. Localized therapies applied vaginally target the area and offer rapid symptom support.

How do I talk to my doctor about my painful intercourse?

Describe your symptoms in detail:

  • What does penetration feel like for you? Do you experience any pain during intimate moments?
  • If so, explain that sensation. When does it happen? What does it feel like? Where in your body do you experience discomfort?
  • Are there certain forms of pleasure you find enjoyable?

Sharing intimate information will help your healthcare provider better understand the reasons for your discomfort. Sexual distress often has a physical and emotional component. Recognizing the signs is the first step to improving sexual health. If you’re uncomfortable sharing these sentiments out loud, write them down and give them to your doctor during your next appointment. The conversation will only grow.

How do I talk to my sexual partner about my intimacy issues?

Having an open dialogue with your partner can have a surprising effect on your intimacy. Easing the burden of secrecy has a two-fold benefit. Not only will it help you feel relief in sharing your experience, the love and trust you show your partner by including them may also help strengthen your bond. Discussing options together promotes sexual satisfaction and contentment.

Dyspareunia doesn’t need to be a dirty word.