Painful Intercourse / Dysparenia

Although women occasionally experience minor pain during intercourse, persistent painful intercourse should be treated by a medical professional.  Intercourse pain can be a sign of an infection, endometriosis or a sexually transmitted disease.


Other causes of painful intercourse are:  insufficient foreplay, vaginal dryness from lack of lubrication, an allergic reaction to a douche or spermicide product, or changes in the vaginal wall due to menopause.  Once any physical causes of pain are ruled out by a medical exam, psychological factors can be considered.



Women frequently experience fear, tension or anxiety about intercourse.  Some have trauma from a sexual abuse or other traumatic event.  Painful intercourse can lessen sexual interest and cause relationship or marital problems.  Professional help should be sought as early as possible for this condition.


If painful intercourse has existed for months or years, psychological counseling can help relieve a woman’s stress and anxiety over sexual intercourse.


For information about making an In-Office Consultation Appointment


CALL (310) 374-4173

Day & Weekend Appointments

E-Mail: [email protected]


Carol Boulware, MFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist – #MFT11632
ABS Certified Sex Therapist #1466
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
EMDR Certified Therapist – EMDRIA Approved Consultant
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550
Los Angeles, California 90401
(310) 374-4173
Email: [email protected]
Additional offices in Santa Monica & Redondo Beach