If you're a woman, this is what to do if sex is painful

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Saturday 05 August 2017 13:15
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Picture:(iStock)

The following article contains content of sexual nature... Obviously.

Sometimes, women feel pain during sex. Let’s just get that out there now.

It can be for a multitude of reasons, including the dryness experienced post menopause, and vulvodynia, which is pain with no obvious cause.

While there’s no real reason it should be, some can find it a difficult topic to bring up with a doctor or sexual partner – or anyone else, for that matter.

While it's always recommended you visit your doctor, sometimes the cause can be difficult to find, like in the case of vulvodynia.

So, in the event of a vague or no diagnosis, or while waiting to receive diagnosis and treatment, here’s what you can do.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help women learn to manage their thoughts and emotions relating to the pain, Sophie Bergeron, a professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, told Healthline. This includes tackling any shame, and the fear that the pain will never go away.

Through Bergeron’s own research, she discovered that CBT was one in a few measures that gave people measurable improvement for two-and-a-half years.

There’s also physical therapy, which Bergeron suggests could work for those who also suffer urinary incontinence. She suggests looking for an expert in pelvic floor physical therapy.

For vulvodynia specifically, the NHS recommends wearing 100 per cent cotton underwear and loose-fitting trousers or skirts, avoiding scented hygiene products, and relaxation techniques – because stress can increase the pain.

But if you have any concerns, your doctor is always the best person to speak to - they're there to help.

More: This woman spent 26 years with crippling pain. But even doctors were surprised when they found out the cause

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