Several conditions from bladder spasms, scar tissue, or cancer treatments can cause discomfort for women during sex and a frank discussion with your doctor may help.
Dr. Susan Oakley, a St. Elizabeth Healthcare urogynecologist, said there are solutions for conditions women may encounter because of scar tissue from surgery such as a hysterectomy or mesh procedure, endometriosis, fibroid uterus, and radiation treatment for cervical or rectal cancer.
Simple solutions include water-based lubricants, which are available over the counter at drug stores. “If simple solutions are not helpful or the patient feels there is a medical cause as listed above, she should seek care,” said Oakley, who is the lead physician of St. Elizabeth’s female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.
Aging (read menopause) is not the only reason that estrogen levels can fall, reports the Mayo Clinic. Reasons also include:
- Immune disorders
- Surgical removal of ovaries
- Decongestants in some allergy and cold medications
Symptoms include soreness, pain, or itching. The Mayo Clinic reports many women are affected but “they frequently don’t bring up the topic with their doctors.”
Don’t let it affect your life or relationship, advised the Mayo Clinic. Make a list of medical conditions, medications, and questions and take them to a healthcare professional.