Dyspareunia (from Greek origin meaning "badly mated") is painful sexual intercourse, due to medical or psychological causes.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that the sex disorder is significantly more common in women than in men, affecting up to one-fifth of women at some point in their lives.
Pain during penetration may be associated with a range of factors, such as lack of lubrication, inflammation, injury or trauma. The pain can also stem from a condition called vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina.
The good news is that the causes are often reversible, even when long-standing.
Obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Phillip Sarrel, MD, discusses the causes of painful sex and how to alleviate the pain simply and effectively.