Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Glossary

To get a more in-depth description of any terms in the Glossary, as well as a list of articles that relate to the term, just click on the term name in the list of terms below. You will be taken to a page that contains the terms, the longer description, and a list of the articles related to that topic.

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Painful sex or painful intercourse is the same.


Complaints of sexual pain - that is, dyspareunia or vulvodynia - typically fall into one of three categories - vulvar pain (pain at the opening or at the external genitalia), vaginal pain, or deep pain - or some combination of all three.


There is some evidence for the existence of several subtypes of dyspareunia :



  • vulvar vestibulitis (the most common type of premenopausal dyspareunia)

  • vulvar or vaginal atrophy (which typically occurs postmenopausally)

  • deep dyspareunia or pelvic pain (associated with such gynecological conditions as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and pelvic adhesions, inflammatory disease, or congestion)


Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS) is the most common subtype of vulvodynia affecting premenopausal women. It tends to be associated with a highly localized “burning” or “cutting” type of pain.  It often causes dyspareunia.


Vaginal atrophy as a source of dyspareunia is most frequently seen in postmenopausal women and is generally associated with estrogen deficiency.


Estrogen deficiency is associated with lubrication inadequacy, which can lead to painful friction during intercourse.


In women with VVS and vulvar/vaginal atrophy, the pain is associated with penetration or with discomfort in the anterior portion of the vagina.


There are some women, however, who report deeper vaginal or pelvic pain.  Little is known about these deeper types of pain syndromes, except that they are thought to be associated with gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, pelvic adhesions, or inflammatory disease.


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