Painful intercourse presents itself by individual men and women as well as in couples.
Women and men can experience pain if there is not sufficient lubrication during sex.
In men pain during sex can manifest as Phimosis where the foreskin is tight and cannot retract or be pulled back sufficiently revealing the gland or head of the penis. A significant number of men, generally through little sexual experience, can endure this condition well into their twenties and thirties before it is ‘discovered’ or comes to light in an intimate relationship. Circumcision is often best practice and whilst this addressees the pain issue, it can take some time for men to improve sexual confidence and performance given that sexual activity historically has been scant. Psychosexual therapy can be useful in this instance.
The most common presentation in women is what was called Vaginismus but now comes under the term Genito-Pelvic Pain Disorder/Penetration Disorder. I see women as individuals and as part of a couple relationship and predominantly ‘Primary’ or ‘Lifelong’ which means that these women have never been able to have intercourse and in many cases not able to endure a gynaecological examination.
With the right support and practical guidance, Penetration Disorder is treated extremely successfully. I encourage spouses to get on-board with this support and whilst the focus is on the woman’s Penetration Disorder, in effect it is a couples issue to get through with a guided plan towards consummation if that is the goal.