Painful Intercourse Specialist

North Scottsdale Women's Health

OBGYNs located in Scottsdale, AZ

Approximately three out of four women experience painful intercourse at some point, making the problem just as common as it is intimate. Painful sex, or dyspareunia, can happen before, during, or after sex. When it becomes persistent or recurrent, it’s important to rule out or uncover any underlying conditions. The team of experts at North Scottsdale Women’s Health in Scottsdale, Arizona, provide comprehensive care, including advanced SeleneTouch laser therapy, for women affected by painful intercourse. Call or book your appointment online today.

Painful Intercourse Q & A

What is dyspareunia?

Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful vaginal intercourse that occurs regularly or all the time. Women who are affected by dyspareunia may feel genital pain just before, during, or after intercourse. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain during penetration
  • Deep pain with each thrust  
  • Pain that emerges after sex
  • Throbbing pain long after sex

What causes painful intercourse?

Many factors can contribute to dyspareunia developing, including physical issues, gynecological conditions, and emotional problems.

Emotions that make it difficult for you to relax during sex can make intercourse painful because they interfere with normal arousal and lubrication. Medications, including certain types of birth control, can also interfere with your sexual response and result in painful intercourse.  

Gynecological problems associated with painful sex include:

Hormonal changes

Lower estrogen levels during menopause and after childbirth can cause vaginal dryness and make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful.


This is the involuntary reflex contraction of vaginal muscles during sex. It can make intercourse particularly painful during penetration.


This relatively common disorder affects the vulva. It can be brought on by long-term inflammation, nerve damage, or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin disorder that frequently affects the vulva. It can cause an itching, burning, or painful reaction to an irritating substance like a lubricant or perfumed soap.

Perineum trauma

Women who have experienced either tears in the perineum or an episiotomy during childbirth may experience painful intercourse for months after a vaginal birth.

How is painful intercourse treated?

Before you can find a treatment that works for you, you need a proper diagnosis of the underlying problem. To diagnose dyspareunia, your doctor at North Scottsdale Women’s Health asks you about your symptoms, takes your complete medical history, and performs a comprehensive exam.

Depending on the potential cause of your problem, treatment recommendations may include changing prescription medications interfering with natural lubrication or applying lubricants before intercourse.

If you’ve sustained some trauma to your vagina, physical therapy or surgery may be your best treatment options.

For a large percentage of women, painful intercourse is a product of low estrogen levels and vaginal dryness. In such cases, vaginal rejuvenation treatments with SeleneTouch laser therapy can provide a quick, safe, and effective way to address the problem.

SeleneTouch uses healing laser technology to revitalize the tissues that line your vaginal canal. By restoring proper trophic balance to these tissues, the treatment directly addresses the underlying condition that causes painful sex.

SeleneTouch is a quick, in-office procedure that takes just a few minutes. To learn more about how SeleneTouch can help you, call North Scottsdale Women’s Health or book your appointment online today.