Sex is very, very painful.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago. About 2 years later sex started to become painful. Discussed it with my doctors and was sent for an ultrasound which showed nothing, pelvic exam negative. Now sex is so painful that it is non existant. My husband keeps hounding me. The few times I have given in I have been in tears from the pain in the vaginal vault. It feels like I am being jabbed with a knife. I might add that my husband and I are not on the best of terms. He is abusive,(mentally,verbally,financially). He kicked me about 3 years ago and I moved into a separate bedroom. Also my skin is so sensitive I can,t stand to be touched by him or anyone else. Have you had any body else with fibromyalgia complain of pain in the vagina during intercourse?

A: Your symptoms may be associated with the fibromyalgia. It’s also possible that the fibromyalgia somehow triggered a somatoform pain disorder. You have lots of reasons for not wanting sex with your husband. He has hurt you mentally and physically. Instead of being a compassionate partner while you try to manage a chronic illness, he is “hounding” you for sex. Although you have moved to a separate bedroom, you haven’t been able to bring yourself to leave him. Your body may be doing what you can’t – putting further distance between you.
Just because pain is psychological doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It is. Once the nervous system is agitated in pain, it sometimes doesn’t seem to know how to switch it off. Even if you left your husband, your body might be so sensitized that it will take time and attention to settle it back down. Please consider finding a pain clinic that has both medical and psychiatric staff. Your best chance for relieving your pain is close collaboration between your physical and mental health doctors.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Feb 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Sex is very, very painful.. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/02/25/sex-is-very-very-painful/

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