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Definition of dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is a persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse in women or men.

Categories of dyspareunia


In women, dyspareunia can be:

- Superficial: it is felt in the vulva, at the vaginal entrance (introitus) and the lower part of the vagina.

- Deep: it is felt deeper in the pelvis during or after intercourse.

Dyspareunia occurs in men as well.

Causes for dyspareunia

When the etiology is psychogenic, dyspareunia can be caused by guilt, rejection of one's body image, emotional deprivation, a depressive pain or the anxiety that may cause sexual pleasure. It can be linked to an often unconscious rejection of sexuality.


In both sexes, the treatment will preferably be multidisciplinary, to properly take into account the organic, psychological and relational factors that are intertwined.