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Understanding Dyspareunia: Can It Affect Pregnancy Chances?

Experiencing discomfort during sex, known in medical terms as dyspareunia, might be more common than you think. In fact, this issue doesn’t just affect individuals with ovaries; it’s a widespread problem that could also impact those with male anatomy.

Believe it or not, a considerable number of individuals dealing with infertility also report sexual dysfunctions — up to 61% in some studies. Dyspareunia can play a role in infertility in a couple of ways. Firstly, it might signal an underlying health concern that’s affecting your fertility.

Secondly, the sheer pain can hinder conception, particularly when it’s crucial, like during ovulation. Understanding what’s normal and what isn’t when it comes to sexual pain, recognizing potential medical issues causing it, and knowing when to seek help is key. This article aims to shed light on the causes of painful sex and offer insights into finding relief.

What Causes Pain With Sex (Dyspareunia)?

Dyspareunia covers any pain experienced during or after sexual activity. It can stem from a range of issues, such as vaginal dryness, infections, conditions like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, and pelvic floor disorders, among others.

What is The Difference Between Dyspareunia, Vulvodynia, and Vaginismus?

Dyspareunia, vulvodynia, and vaginismus are all pain-related conditions linked to sexual activity, but they’re not interchangeable. Dyspareunia is a broader term that can be due to physical or psychological issues. Vulvodynia, affecting about 7% of individuals with vulvas during their reproductive years, involves chronic vulvar pain without a clear cause, possibly linked to nerve issues. Vaginismus is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions around the vagina, making penetration painful or impossible.

Pelvic Floor Disorders and Infertility

A general diagnosis of a pelvic floor disorder (PFD) might be given when you’re experiencing painful intercourse, which could also be influencing your fertility. Symptoms can include discomfort in the pelvic area, pain during sex, urinary or bowel issues, and incontinence, among others. Such disorders can affect sexual desire and arousal, complicating the process of trying to conceive.

What is the Connection Between Dyspareunia and Infertility?

For male bodies, dyspareunia can impede the ejaculation process, making natural conception challenging. In female bodies, the pain can disrupt the frequency of sexual activity, essential for conception, and add psychological stress, particularly when trying to time intercourse with ovulation.

What is the Treatment for Dyspareunia?

Despite the discomfort, there are numerous treatment paths to alleviate pain during sex. Depending on the underlying cause, treatments could range from simple at-home strategies like using lubricants to medical interventions for more complex conditions.

How Do I Talk to My Doctor About Painful Sex?

Don’t suffer in silence. Preparing to talk to your doctor by noting down your symptoms and concerns can help ensure you get the right support and treatment. Remember, experiencing pain during any form of sexual activity isn’t normal and warrants medical attention.

What Are Some Alternative Options for Conception at Home (How Can I Get Pregnant Without Having Sex)?

If dyspareunia is limiting your sexual activity, home fertility treatments like Intracervical (ICI) or Intravaginal Insemination (IVI) could be viable alternatives. For instance, the MakeAmom Kit, designed for at-home use, can facilitate the process and reduce the stress around timing intercourse for ovulation.

What Are Some Self-Care Things I Can Do At Home for Painful Sex?

There’s a plethora of self-care strategies you can employ to manage painful sex. These include stress reduction techniques, pelvic floor exercises, communicating openly with your partner, and finding non-painful sexual activities that you both enjoy.


Dyspareunia and pelvic floor disorders are significant issues that can affect your fertility and overall sexual health. With the right help and a range of treatment options, many have improved their situation and increased their chances of conception. Everyone’s experience with these conditions is unique, so personalized treatment plans are vital.

If you’re navigating the challenges of TTC and dyspareunia, we at MakeAmom are here to support you. Feel free to reach out to us at for any assistance. We’re sending our best wishes on your journey.


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