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Painful Sexual Intercourse: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: May 15, 2024

What is the treatment?

Painful sexual intercourse is usually caused by the inability to have or maintain an erection, sexual weakness or erectile dysfunction (ED) that is fairly common in men. Women after menopause or undergoing a urinary tract infection (UTI) may also have pain while intercourse. There are plenty of treatment options available that people can employ in order to cure themselves of this condition. Treatment options vary from simple methods such as oral medications and injections to more complex ones such as surgeries, implants and pumps. However, before a treatment option can be zeroed in on, a doctor will conduct diagnostic tests to find out exactly what's causing the problem. After an analysis of the cause, the most suitable treatment option will be chosen by the doctor with the consent of the patient. That said, the chosen treatment option will not only vary on the basis of the cause but also the severity of the condition. Patients will be explained the risks and benefits of each of the treatment options so that they can make the best choice with the help of the doctor and know what they are getting into. > In case you are suffering from a severe urinary tract infection, then you may have to be hospitalized. This is because the doctor will want to give you your medications intravenously in order to clear the infection faster.

How is the treatment done?

Medications are known to treat the pain either due to an infection or a medical condition. In case there are medical conditions which already exist and are causing vaginal dryness then the doctor will recommend a few alternatives. A number of oral medications are prescribed for the causes of painful sex. They help in increasing the blood flow to the penis so that an erection can be maintained in response to sexual stimulation. Some of the other medications prescribed by a doctor, need to be injected instead of taking orally such as alprostadil, which is injected into the base of the penis with the help of a needle. Another treatment method known as alprostadil urethral suppository works by placing a suppository inside the man's penis in the penile urethra with the help of a special applicator.

Apart from the above, penis pumps and surgery is also an option. Penis pumps work by placing the tube of the pump on the penis and using the pump given to suck out air that is present in the tube. The vaccuum created increases blood flow to the penis, thereby helping in gettng an erection. Once the man gets the erection, he is supposed to slip a tension ring on the base of his penis and keep it there to maintain the erection. A drug named as ospemifene is taken at a dosage of 60 mg/day by women with menopause.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Men who suffer from sexual weakness and do not have heart diseases are eligible for medications used to treat painful sex. Potential candidates for surgery and penis pumps include those on whom medications did not prove to be effective.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Oral medications should not be taken by men who suffer from heart diseases or chest problems as well as very low blood pressure. To know about who is not eligible for a penile implant, one should consult their doctor.

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Are there any side effects?

Different treatment methods for painful sex have different side effects. For example, side effects of oral medications include nasal congestion, blurry vision, flushing, stomach upset and backache. Side effects of injections urethral suppository include prolonged erection and mild bleeding as well as pain and formation of fibrous tissues in the penis. The side effects of penile implants include infection, formation of scar tissue, uncontrolled bleeding etc.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Men who take oral medications or those in the form of injections or urethral suppositories need to follow any post treatment guidelines as such although they should consult with their doctors about that. Those who go through penile implants must rest for a couple of days after the operation and should not lift anything heavy either until their doctor allows them to.

How long does it take to recover?

Once a man gets an erection with the help of medications (oral or otherwise), they may last for about half an hour after which the penis will go back to its normal flaccid state. Recovery from a penile implant surgery takes about 6 weeks.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Oral medications cost between Rs. 450 and Rs. 600 for a pack of 10. The Alprostadil self-injection costs roughly Rs. 5,900, while the cost of the penis pump is around Rs. 200 to Rs. 600. A penile implant surgery can set one back by around Rs 1 lakh.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the penile surgery are permanent. The results of medications, injections, suppositories and pumps are temporary and they have to be used again before sex in order to get results.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are plenty of alternative remedies available for pain while having sexual intercourse. These include exercising, making lifestyle changes, trying out homeopathy or ayurvedic supplments and opting for a testosterone replacement. However, before opting for any of them, one should consult their doctor.

References

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Written ByDr. Jayashri S MBBS,MS - Obstetrics and GynaecologyGynaecology
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