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Sex Lexis Entry
Recurrent and persistent genital pain occurring during sexual intercourse, in either the male or female. Causes may be organic, emotional or psychogenic: adhesions, anxiety, cancer of penis, clitoral irritation, congenital malformations, constipation, decreased lubrication, diverticulitis, endometriosis, episiotomy scars, fear, fistulas, genital muscle spasm, hemorrhoids, hostility towards partner, hymenal-ring abnormalities, infection and irritation of penile skin, infection of seminal vesicles, interstitial cystitis, masses or tumors, pelvic venous congestion, pelvic inflammatory disease, penile anatomy disorders, phobic reactions, postmenopausal atrophy, prior pelvic fracture, prostate infections and enlargement, psychological trauma, testicular disease, torsion of spermatic cord, trauma, ureteral or vesical lesions, urethritis, vulvar vestibulitis/vulvodynia, vulvar papillomatosis.
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Dyspareunia is painful sexual intercourse due to medical or psychological causes. The pain can primarily be on the external surface of the genitalia, or deeper in the pelvis upon deep pressure against the cervix. It can affect a small portion of the vulva or vagina or be felt all over the surface. Understanding the duration, location, and nature of the pain is important in identifying the causes of the pain.
Numerous physical, psychological, and social or relationship causes can contribute to pain during sexual encounters. Commonly, multiple underlying causes contribute to the pain. The pain can be acquired or congenital. Symptoms of dyspareunia may also occur after menopause. Diagnosis is typically by physical examination and medical history.
Underlying causes determine treatment. Many women experience relief when physical causes are identified and treated. Even when the pain can be reproduced during a physical examination, doctor and patient must acknowledge the possible role of psychological factors in either causing or maintaining the pain.
Globally, dyspareunia has been estimated to affect between 8–21% of women, at some point in their lives.
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