Up to one third of women experience pain during sex, but most never seek the treatment they need
Sex is painful for nearly one in eight women according to a study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Researchers vary in their estimates of how common painful sex is – some studies say it affects up to one in three women – but all agree it’s a neglected problem. Most women never seek help. Some carry on having penetrative sex through gritted teeth.
The medical name for painful sex – dyspareunia – covers a multitude of reasons why intercourse hurts, such as sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia or herpes), thrush and endometriosis (which causes pelvic inflammation). Then there is anxiety, lack of sexual arousal and/or a previous traumatic experience of sex.
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