Dyspareunia is a troubling condition characterized by difficult or painful sexual intercourse. The pain is experienced in the genital area and may occur during intercourse, foreplay, or attempted intercourse. The pain may be mild in nature or severe, and may even change in severity with different positions. The pain may occur at any point during the sex act.
Before I suggest any remedy, it is very important to understand that painful intercourse occurs due to a number of possible underlying reasons. In order to get complete relief, the cause of the condition must be identified and treated accordingly.
Common causes of painful intercourse:
– Inadequate Vaginal Lubrication
– Rough Sex
– Negative feelings, towards your partner or in general
While these are the most common causes of painful intercourse, there are certain underlying conditions that can also cause this symptom.
Some conditions in which painful intercourse occurs are:
– Vaginitis, Cervicitis, Vulval Infection
– Vaginal Septum, Narrow Introitus, Tough, imperforated hymen
– Dryness & thinness of the vaginal walls (Usually in menopause)
– Hemorrhoids, Urethral bruising, Perineal Scar
– Allergic reactions to contraceptives, condoms, etc
– Intercourse too soon after childbirth
– STDs such as Herpes, HPV, PID, etc
– Tumors, Fibroids
– Sexual Abuse, Rape, etc
* Some Medications may also result in painful intercourse.
Certain Psychological factors can also result in painful intercourse:
– Lack of sexual arousal (causes poor lubrication of vaginal canal)
– Anxiety, Fatigue, Fear of getting pregnant
– Lack of experience, etc
In order to properly, effectively, and completely rid yourself of pain, the specific cause must be addressed. However, there are certain “general measures” given in Ayurveda and natural medicine, that can be taken.
One potential cause of inadequate lubrication is low estrogen. This can occur in the case of Menopause or certain conditions characterized by hormone irregularities such as Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). In the case of Menopause, herbs like fenugreek and black cohosh can be of use (click here to learn more). In the case of PCOS, estrogen levels can be corrected with Inositol (click here to learn more).
Not only is it an effective lubricant, but it also possesses anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, ulcer healing properties. Coconut oil is considered a “functional food”, due to the fact that it’s both nourishing and healing. Coconut oil can also be eaten to help in this condition, however, it must be gradually introduced as it may cause some gastric discomfort in some people if consumed in a large amount. I recommend my patients and clients to start with 1/4 teaspoon a day and slowly increase up to a tablespoon (over the course of 2 weeks).
1. Coconut Oil should not be used with latex contraceptives
2. Coconut Oil may alter the pH of the vagina as it is an alkaline substance. Therefore, people who experience frequent yeast infections should avoid it.
Vaginitis is an inflammatory condition of the vagina which is usually caused by either bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, or trichomoniasis.
Bacterial Vaginosis can be effectively managed with the use of Garlic. Research has proven that garlic is a potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Garlic not only possesses its own anti-infective properties but also gives the immune system a significant boost by increasing the number of T-Cells. In clinical trials, Garlic has been successful in treating multiple types of infections including Bacterial Vaginosis (see study).
Burdock, Chamomile & Aloe
These herbs are known for their antimicrobial effects and their uses in traditional medicine for treating multiple gynecological conditions. There is, however, a formula that uses all three of these herbs for treating Vaginitis of various causes including candidiasis, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis. This formula is known as Zelesse®. In a clinical trial, this formula was used as a vaginal wash and found to be effective in improving the symptoms of vaginitis (see study).
Lack Of Arousal
This may be due to several factors such as stress, anxiety, low libido, etc.
This herb has a long history of both traditional as well as clinically-tested uses. Some of which include Stress, Anxiety, and Low Libido. In clinical trials, Ashwagandha was able to reduce the symptoms as well as hormonal effects of stress (see study), reduce anxiety (see study) and improve various aspects of libido and sexual function including arousal, orgasm, lubrication, and satisfaction (see study).
Talk to an Ayurvedic Doctor, to find out more about which medicinal herb is right for you. Always remember, that just like allopathic medicines, herbs can be very dangerous if not used correctly.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.