I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2021 May 15

Am Fam Physician



Dyspareunia in Women.


Hill AD, Taylor CA
Am Fam Physician. 2021 May 15; 103(10):597-604.
PMID: 33983001.


Dyspareunia is recurrent or persistent pain with sexual intercourse that causes distress. It affects approximately 10% to 20% of U.S. women. Dyspareunia may be superficial, causing pain with attempted vaginal insertion, or deep. Women with sexual pain are at increased risk of sexual dysfunction, relationship distress, diminished quality of life, anxiety, and depression. Because discussing sexual issues may be uncomfortable, clinicians should create a safe and welcoming environment when taking a sexual history, where patients describe the characteristics of the pain (e.g., location, intensity, duration). Physical examination of the external genitalia includes visual inspection and sequential pressure with a cotton swab, assessing for focal erythema or pain. A single-digit vaginal examination may identify tender pelvic floor muscles, and a bimanual examination can assess for uterine retroversion and pelvic masses. Common diagnoses include vulvodynia, inadequate lubrication, vaginal atrophy, postpartum causes, pelvic floor dysfunction, endometriosis, and vaginismus. Treatment is focused on the cause and may include lubricants, pelvic floor physical therapy, topical analgesics, vaginal estrogen, cognitive behavior therapy, vaginal dilators, modified vestibulectomy, or onabotulinumtoxinA injections.