Sexual Health Overview (cont.)
In this Article
- What is the most common cause of sex problems among men and women?
- What is the most common sexual problem in men?
- What is the true definition of erectile dysfunction -- and what are the most common causes?
- What causes sexual dysfunction in women?
- What causes pain in the penis?
- Why do some women have painful intercourse?
- What is retrograde ejaculation, and how is it treated?
- Is having an erection for an extended period of time dangerous?
- Which medications commonly cause sex problems for men or women?
- Is it true that sex can actually give some people a headache?
What causes pain in the penis?
Like in any other part of the body, pain in the penis can be the result of many things, including infection, trauma, or disease. Excessive manipulation can sometimes lead to pain, as can simple things such as insect bites or pimples. At the same time, painful lesions or sores on the penis may be genital herpes or another infection. Additionally, prostate inflammation, urethritis (an infection of the urinary tube frequently caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia), and sometimes sickle cell anemia can also cause penis pain. A condition known as Peyronie's disease results in an abnormal bend in the penis that makes intercourse painful for a man. In rare instances, pain can be a sign of penile cancer, so always check with your doctor if discomfort is significant and does not subside within a few days.
Why do some women have painful intercourse?
Medically known as dyspareunia, in up to 80% of women the cause is physiological. This can be the result of a decrease in female hormones leading to vaginal dryness, the presence of yeast or other sexually transmitted infections, cystitis or urethritis (infections of the urinary tract), or certain orthopaedic problems. In some instances, even chronic constipation may play a role. A condition known as vulvar vestibulitis, an inflammation in a particular area of the vagina, is the most commonly overlooked cause of dyspareunia.
A specific type of dyspareunia known as vaginismus causes involuntary spasms of the muscles within the vagina. In some instances, they can be so strong, the vagina seals shut making penetration extremely painful or sometimes, impossible. It often has roots in psychological trauma.
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