(Harvard Health) — Millions of women experience pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse—a condition called dyspareunia (from the Greek dyspareunos, meaning “badly mated”). This condition not only saps sexual desire and enjoyment, it can also strain relationships and erode quality of life in general. For postmenopausal women, dyspareunia may also raise concerns about aging and body image.
Many women suffer in silence and don’t seek the help they need, or they have trouble finding a clinician who can diagnose and treat the causes of their pain. That is unfortunate, because treatments are available for many of the problems that underlie this vexing condition.
Dyspareunia (pronounced dis-pah-ROO-nee-uh) can happen at any age, but it’s particularly common among women who’ve reached menopause. Studies and surveys suggest that one-quarter to one-half of postmenopausal women experience some pain during sex. (…)