Painful periods or painful sex

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Painful periods or painful sex? Here’s what it could mean and what to do

Excessively painful periods or pain during sex is never normal. It can occur at any life stage and can indicate an abnormality in the anatomy or function of the reproductive system. As well as the physical burden of managing a painful condition, the emotional wedge that pain can drive in productivity and intimacy can inhibit your quality of life dramatically, leading to lower satisfaction in your professional and personal relationships. If you are trying unsuccessfully to conceive, pain may be a sign that your infertility is due to an underlying condition and should be investigated as a matter of priority. Expert gynaecological scanning at Newcastle Ultrasound can help identify the source of your pain, help to treat the underlying condition and restore your quality of life.

Painful periods or pain during sex can signal a serious underlying condition

  • Endometriosis and adenomyosis
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Fibroids
  • Endometrial Polyps
  • Cysts in the ovaries and suspected ovarian cancer
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, or inflammation or infection of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, tubes or ovaries
  • Other issues with the reproductive system

Many of these conditions can threaten your fertility and overall health. Some can be fatal if left untreated. In some instances diagnosis can be delayed for many years which can lead to debilitating symptoms and reduced fertility. It is important to start investigations promptly at any age if you have painful periods or have difficulty conceiving within 6-12 months of actively trying, especially if you are older.

A detailed history of your symptoms is taken, followed by a physical examination and specialist-directed diagnostic scanning, if required

When you are seen at Dr Raymond’s practice to investigate the source of your pain, you will be asked a series of detailed questions about your symptoms, your menstrual cycle, your medical history as well as your family history, as some conditions can run in families. In most cases you will be offered a diagnostic ultrasound following your physical examination to further investigate the size, shape, structure or anatomy of the vaginal walls, cervix, uterus, tubes or ovaries. You may then be referred for further keyhole (laparascopic) surgery if necessary.

Treatment will be tailored to you individually based on your diagnosis and scan results

Possible treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Hormone treatment
  • Other medication
  • Laparascopy (keyhole surgery)
  • Laparotomy (open surgery) – very rarely
  • Infertility management
  • Lifestyle advice and management

Contact your GP and request a referral to Dr Raymond and find the underlying reason for any excessive menstrual pain or pain during sex

You can download a referral form for your GP here. Call our patient liaison consultant on (02) 4957 3899 if you would like to have a confidential chat to discuss any pain you may be experiencing, or to book an appointment once you have seen your GP.