Sexual pain disorders
Sexual pain disorders are mainly confined to women and are caused by inadequate lubrication of the vagina during sex. This may be caused by a lack of stimulation or excitement about the sexual activity or by hormonal changes that occur as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause. Other causes include irritation due to the use of contraceptive creams and anxiety about engaging in sex.
Sexual pain may also be caused by a condition called vaginismus, where the muscles of the vaginal wall spasm involuntarily during intercourse. The cause of these spasms is not clear but previous sexual trauma such as abuse or assault has been suggested as a trigger of the condition.
One sexual pain disorder that occurs in males is referred to as priapism, which is a painful erection that may persist for several hours, even in the absence of sexual stimulation. This is caused by blood getting trapped in the penis and failing to drain adequately. If left untreated, the condition may lead to a permanent loss of erectile function.