Natural Remedies for Dyspareunia

Dec 10, 2014 0 Comments in General Medical Posts by
Natural Remedies for Dyspareunia

Natural Remedies for Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia refers to moderate to severe pain or discomfort during the act of physical intercourse that affects the quality of sexual experience. Although the exact prevalence of dyspareunia in general population is unknown, it is believed that at least one of every six females experience moderate to severe dyspareunia at some point of their life (1). Fortunately, most females suffer from acute dyspareunia that resolves spontaneously or with treatment; however, a fair percentage of women experience chronic dyspareunia that hampers the quality of life for good.

What Causes Dyspareunia?

Male Dyspareunia ImageThere are a number of medical or psychological issues that may present as dyspareunia

Most frequently reported causes in females are:

  • Vaginitis refers to inflammation of vagina due to trauma, injury or ongoing inflammation in the setting of sexually transmitted infections. Classic symptoms of vaginitis are; feeling of heat and burning sensation in vagina, itching, vaginal discharge and non-specific symptoms like fever and coryza.
  • Postpartum Dyspareunia: Perineal trauma in women after childbirth is a leading cause of temporary dyspareunia; however, about 16.2% females may experience dyspareunia even after 12-months of vaginal delivery. Certain risk factors that may increase the risk in otherwise healthy females are; obstructed labor, urogenital infection, perineal tear, delivery or episiotomy in hands of an inexperienced doctor etc. (2)
  • Atrophic Vaginitis: Estrogen is required for the maintenance of normal vaginal lubrication as well as cellular turnover. With physiological changes in the normal serum levels of estrogen after menopause, more than 10 – 30% females experience atrophic vaginitis (characterized by thinning of vaginal lining, poor lubrication and atrophic changes in the female genital tract).
  • Pre-menopausal Atrophy of Vaginal Parenchyma: About 10% pre-menopausal females also develop premature vaginal atrophy due to organic or hormonal dysfunction (such as lactation or hyperprolactinemia, hypothalamic amenorrhea, chronic use of anti-estrogenic drugs etc.)
  • Endometriosis: It is perhaps one of the most frequently reported causes of dyspareunia in females of reproductive age group. Other characteristic symptoms include pain during menstruation, pelvic and lower abdominal pain and infertility.
  • Urinary Tract Infection: Inflammation of urinary tract (UTI) or bladder (also known as cystitis) can also present with painful intercourse. Other classic symptoms include burning micturition, urgency, frequency and dull pelvic pain.

Other popular causes include:

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction or hypertonicity
  • Inflammatory cystitis
  • Vestibulodynia
  • Dermatological conditions of vagina
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Chronic contraceptive use

Remedies for Dyspareunia

Female Dyspareunia imageIt is imperative to keep in mind that dyspareunia significantly alters the quality of sexual and personal relationships in both males and females. Study conducted by Wurn and associates (4) suggested that females who seek functional treatment for dyspareunia are able to enjoy their sex life more efficiently. Results of the study suggested that:

  • 93% females experience a remarkable improvement in the quality of sex life
  • 64% reported improvement in the overall intensity, quality and duration of orgasms
  • Improved arousal was reported in 86%
  • Improvement in libido and vaginal lubrication was reported in 71% and 79% respectively.

Some natural remedies are:

Identify the cause: Management and treatment of primary ailment is the main-stay remedy in situations where the cause of dyspareunia is an infectious condition or an organic ailment

Some popularly employed remedies are:

Support and help:

  • Speak to your partner: It is very important to discuss with your partner regarding the intensity and symptoms for dyspareunia. This helps in preserving the quality of relationship and also improves the chances of complete resolution of symptoms.
  • Cognitive behavioral Therapy and Psychological counseling: In situations where the cause is psychological ailments (disgust for the act of sexual interaction, disgust or hatred for the partner or other related relationship issues), CBT and counseling often helps

Modification in the act of intercourse:

  • Changing sex positions: It has been observed that certain positions are more painful (due to deeper penetration. Trying different sex position often helps in finding the most comfortable one.
  • Physical therapy: Due to anatomical and physiological factors, some females are more likely to experience pain during intercourse (due to rigidity or stiffness of muscles). Physical therapy and healthy exercises are often helpful in improving the flexibility of connective tissue elements.
  • Muscular retraining and pelvic floor exercises: Muscular retraining exercises are helpful in post-delivery dyspareunia.


  • Vaginal lubricants and jellies: In situations where the cause of female dyspareunia is vaginal dryness, application of lubricants and jellies are often helpful to resolve the symptoms.
  • Vaginal estrogen: Data indicates that hormonal remedies (such as estrogen) also improves the vaginal secretion (especially in menopausal women); thereby improving the lubrication to decrease the discomfort during sexual intercourse.

Some additional tips that may alleviate (or at least decrease) the discomfort are:

  • Instead of aiming for surgical or medical interventions, revise your sexual strategies; such as, increase the duration of foreplay.
  • You can also use numbing gels or topical analgesics to reduce the initial pain.


  1. Bertozzi, S., Londero, A. P., Fruscalzo, A., Driul, L., & Marchesoni, D. (2010). Prevalence and risk factors for dyspareunia and unsatisfying sexual relationships in a cohort of primiparous and secondiparous women after 12 months postpartum. International Journal of Sexual Health, 22(1), 47-53.
  2. Tennfjord, M. K., Hilde, G., Stær-Jensen, J., Engh, M. E., & Bø, K. (2014). Dyspareunia and pelvic floor muscle function before and during pregnancy and after childbirth. International urogynecology journal, 1-9.
  3. Krychman, M. L. (2011). Vaginal estrogens for the treatment of dyspareunia. The journal of sexual medicine, 8(3), 666-674.
  4. Wurn, B. F., Wurn, L. J., Patterson, K., King, C. R., & Scharf, E. S. (2011). Decreasing dyspareunia and dysmenorrhea in women with endometriosis via a manual physical therapy: Results from two independent studies. J Endometriosis, 3(4), 188–196.