Painful Intercourse Specialist

Central Oregon OB/GYN

OBGYNs located in Bend, OR

Regular sex boosts your immune system and brain function, slows down aging, and helps you sleep better. But many women miss out on a fulfilling sex life because intercourse has become painful. But Erin LeGrand, DO, FACOG and John Murphy, MD, FACOG -- founders of Central Oregon OB/GYN in Bend, Oregon -- believe every woman can enjoy intimacy at any age or stage of life. Help is available to reduce pain and improve pleasure. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Painful Intercourse Q&A

What causes painful intercourse?

Painful intercourse has many different physical or emotional causes. The emotional causes of painful intercourse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Previous sexual abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress

The physical causes of painful intercourse include:

  • Certain gynecological illnesses and conditions
  • Genital trauma or injury
  • Insufficient lubrication
  • Inflammation or infection of the genitals
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Vaginal wall muscle spasms

Women experience pain during intercourse differently. Some have pain during penetration or thrusting. For others, it’s a lingering ache or burning sensation during or after sex.

What is vaginal atrophy?

Vaginal atrophy is the most common cause of painful intercourse in women over 50. As estrogen levels decline during menopause, women experience several changes including:

  • Decreased lubrication
  • Reduced vaginal elasticity
  • Vaginal burning or itching
  • Thinning of the vaginal walls

All of these symptoms make sex painful, causing many women to forego an active sex life and to miss out on the emotional and physical benefits of intimacy.

How is painful intercourse treated?

After using a physical exam and diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your painful intercourse, your doctor creates a treatment plan to reduce symptoms and help you enjoy sex once again.


Several medications are available to address the medical cause of painful intercourse including decreased lubrication. Your doctor weighs the risks, benefits, and side effects of prescription medications to determine if they are right for you.


When the cause of painful intercourse is emotionally-based, sex therapy or couples therapy can be very beneficial in overcoming psychological barriers to healthy intimacy. Counseling is often used in conjunction with medical treatment.


Replacing estrogen lost during menopause has been shown to reduce discomfort and improve moisture and sensation. Estrogen is available in creams, patches, pills or rings.

Vaginal rejuvenation

MonaLisa Touch® vaginal rejuvenation is an FDA-cleared minimally invasive procedure for women experiencing painful intercourse due to menopause. This painless laser therapy uses heat energy to renew vaginal tissue and restore lubrication and tone.

There is relief for painful intercourse. To learn more about state-of-the-art vaginal rejuvenation and other therapies available, call to schedule an appointment today.