| Tara Langdale
Dysorgasmia: Are Painful Orgasms Normal?
No one likes to experience pain at any time, let alone after an orgasm. Sex isn't supposed to be painful. Yet, for some men and women, painful orgasms or cramps after sex is common and known as dysorgasmia. If you're one of the 20% living with painful orgasms, then you're wondering if it's normal. (1) The short answer is that dysorgasmia is more common than you think, and painful sex is not normal. The good news is that there are solutions to help you have a pain-free sex life.
What is Dysorgasmia?
In medical terms, dysorgasmia is a pain syndrome that happens right before, during, or after an orgasm. It becomes intensely painful in the pelvic area or abdomen. Painful ejaculation occurs for both men and women without any reason. The anticipation of the pain may stop people from having sex at all and can take a serious toll on relationships.
What does it feel like?
Dysorgasmia can feel like period cramps or an intense stomach ache. Along with period cramps, you may have lower back pain. The pain location may also be connected to the type of orgasm you're experiencing. Orgasms can be divided into three types.
- Vaginal or vulvar orgasm
- Penile orgrasm
- Anal orgasm
Each of these orgasms may have different causes for the pain, and the sensation varies in strength and location.
Causes of Painful Orgasms
The cause of dysorgasmia may be a combination of physical, emotional, mental, and psychological factors. For example, stress affects each person differently and may result in a physical reaction, such as holding tension in the pelvic floor muscles, leading to dysorgasmia. So the physical sensation is real, but the cause may be emotional trauma and chronic stress. Below are some common reasons for dysorgasmia.
Underlying Uterine or Bladder Disorder
If you have urinary incontinence or a painful bladder syndrome, it may be resulting in dysorgasmia. You may also have uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are tiny tumors that appear on your uterus. While benign, they may be causing pain after ejaculation.
Ovarian cysts are small sacks of fluid on the ovaries. Post-orgasm pain may come from the cysts bursting or being rubbed against during penetration. If the painful orgasm occurs mostly on one side of the abdomen, it may indicate an ovarian cyst.
Post-orgasm cramps may come from a painful condition called endometriosis. It's when uterine tissue grows outside of your uterus and affects your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvis tissue. Endometriosis can also cause problems with infertility.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is a painful infection of the reproductive organs of women. The cause is often from sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you're experiencing painful orgasms, it may be PID.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
One of the causes of painful orgasms is pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor muscles and ligaments support the pelvis's organs, including the bladder, uterus, rectum, and prostate. When you have pelvic pain or painful orgasms, it could come from various conditions affecting the pelvis.
Contracting and relaxing these pelvic muscles allows you to go to the bathroom, have a bowel movement, and sex without pain. Pelvic floor dysfunction is when you can't control these muscles, and they contract and stress up without warning. It may result in a variety of chronic pain conditions, including:
- Vulvodynia: Burning, stinging pain in the vulva
- Dysorgasmia: Painful orgasms
Vaginismus: Involuntary contraction of the pelvic muscles
Dyspareunia: Painful intercourse
Vaginal atrophy: Painful dry, vaginal tissue
Pelvic floor dysfunction can also result in incontinence and other conditions.
Treatments for Dysogasmia
Dysorgasmia affects each person differently, so the treatments will vary or require a combination of different choices. A straightforward solution is a hot water bottle or a warm bath when the pain occurs. However, you may need medical advice if the problem persists.
The first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider. The meeting will usually include getting a thorough medical history and undergoing a physical exam. Your healthcare practitioner needs to discover the underlying cause of dysorgasmia.
Vaginal dilators are sex tech or medical devices that help with various health conditions involving the pelvic floor and vaginal tissues. Pelvic floor physical therapists describe them as tube-shaped devices that retrain your abdomen or pelvic muscles.
Muscle cramps come from weak and stretched tissues and ligaments that can occur at any time. Vaginal dilators naturally and slowly pull the muscles while strengthening them. If your muscles repeatedly contract during an orgasm, the result is pain and discomfort.
Vaginal dilators are entirely safe to use and come with no side effects. They come in different sizes and are proven to work.
Dysorgasmia and Mental Health
While pain during sex is a real physical problem, it can wear on one mental and emotional wellbeing; Dysorgasmia can be a combination of physical and mental issues.
Sex therapy may help discover the genesis of mental and bodily pain. Sometimes you may have grown up in a sex-negative household, had a traumatic experience, or have internalized shame around sex. All of which can cause an orgasm to be painful. And it's essential that if your orgasms are painful, you don't dismiss this as only in your head. Your condition could be a combination of pelvic floor dysfunction and emotional trauma.
If you have pain when you reach orgasm, you may have dysorgasmia. The problem may be mild or searing. Regardless of the severity, the pain isn't normal. Sex should be safe, pleasurable, and shame-free. Treatments for dysorgasmia include vaginal dilators, therapy, and medicine. The first step is discovering the underlying condition causing dysorgasmia.
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