How Can You Stop Painful Sexual Intercourse?

Sexual intercourse should be an enjoyable, pleasurable event, but unfortunately, that’s not the experience for some women.  When intercourse becomes painful, it can be extremely stressful, so some women opt to avoid having sex altogether, while others try to discover what they can do to stop painful sexual intercourse.   

What Can Cause Painful Sexual Intercourse?

Painful sexual intercourse may be the result of a condition known as vulvodynia.  Vulvodynia is chronic pain in the vulva that does not have an identifiable cause, which means it is not associated with an infection or other medical condition.

Women that experience painful sexual intercourse generally suffer from a subtype of vulvodynia known as provoked vulvodynia.  Provoked vulvodynia is a burning pain that occurs when the vestibule (the tissue around the opening of the vagina) is touched or pressure is applied to it.  

The pain makes intercourse impossible for some women, and of course, this negatively impacts their intimate relationship.  

The cause of painful intercourse often goes unrecognized because not many doctors specialize in treating vulvodynia. 

Painful sexual intercourse may be accompanied by other symptoms, including rawness, itching, stinging, and soreness in the vaginal area. 

How Can You Stop Painful Sexual Intercourse?

Since painful sexual intercourse is a symptom of vulvodynia, the underlying cause of vulvodynia must be treated, in order to resolve the problem.  

Vulvodynia is treated using a customized protocol that is formulated after an evaluation of the vaginal fluid is carried out.  This assessment is done using an advanced diagnostic test known as a vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test.  

Dr. R. Stuart Fowler, vulvovaginal specialist and founder of Fowler GYN International (FGI), developed the VFA test.  Dr. Fowler carried out many years of clinical observation and research into the diagnosis and treatment of vulvodynia.  As a result of his research, Dr. Fowler discovered that the underlying etiology of vulvodynia is an altered vaginal microflora pattern

The VFA test provides a quantitative analysis of the vaginal fluid, and this helps establish if there is an altered vaginal microflora pattern present.  An altered vaginal microflora is a variation from the normal flora. 

The normal vaginal microflora consists of numerous strains of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.  The good bacteria help maintain the health of the mucous membrane of the vagina, by forming a protective barrier over the surface.

However, if there is a shift in the normal bacteria milieu it can cause the bad bacteria to multiply and dominate the microflora.   When the vaginal secretions that spring from the altered microflora bathe the tissues at the opening of the vagina, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including the burning pain that accompanies intercourse.    

Treating Vulvodynia

If the VFA test identifies an altered vaginal microflora pattern, patients are provided with medications that contain the nutrients needed to shift the microflora back to normal.  This process takes time because the vaginal tissue responds to treatment gradually.  

The treatment protocol is reviewed at intervals to ensure that the desired response targets are being met.  Patients can expect some improvement at about the 4-month mark, but it typically takes 8-12 months to see the ideal response.

Vulvodynia treatment may also include the use of hypocontactant skincare products.  These products are free of chemicals and preservatives that can irritate the vaginal tissue and cause symptoms of vulvodynia to emerge. 

Are you experiencing painful intercourse and haven’t been able to get the problem treated?  If yes, it may be time to consult with a vulvovaginal specialist.  However, it’s best to choose a specialist with advanced training and experience in managing vulvodynia and other vulvovaginal conditions.

Take the Next Step

The experts in vaginal health at Fowler GYN International (FGI) Phoenix, AZ regularly diagnose and treat vulvodynia.  

You can reach them at https://www.fowlergyninternational.com/, or by calling (480) 420-4001.

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