Dyspareunia or painful intercourse is a condition that can be devastating to many couples.  There are a variety of different causes of dyspareunia with some of the most common ones including vulvodynia (or pain of the vulva), postpartum dyspareunia, endometriosis, inadequate vaginal lubrication or arousal, hemorrhoids and anal fissures.  As such, treatment of this condition works best when combined solutions are employed. 

 

Acupuncture for this condition works in a number of ways. Firstly, acupuncture is a site specific anti inflammatory therapy with analgesic and sedative effects.  Hence, you can see why it would be a part of any solution to conditions presenting with pain. When inflammation is lowered and analgesia occurs, anxiety levels also tend to decrease.

 

Chinese herbs are also quite effective for conditions such as endometriosis and other structural conditions as they increase blood supply and decrease inflammatory cytokines in the pelvis, which helps to lower fibrosis.

 

Orthomolecular medicine (also known as vitamin therapy), employs things like high dose magnesium citrate and vitamin C. These help to relax muscles and also relieve pain.

 

Finally, there is more recent evidence that topical cannabinoid preparations are also beneficial in the treatment of pain as they also have anti-inflammatory actions. For this sort of application, a mixed THC/CBD cannabinoid in glycerin mixed with a lubricant that wouldn’t irritate the vaginal mucosa would work best.

 

Be Well and Be Zen

 

 

References:

 

Gaby., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., Ch 228, p. 837-44., ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.

Bensky, R. Barolet., Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies (1990)., ps. 146, 257, 295., ISBN:0-939616-10-6., Eastland Press Inc., Seattle, WA.

Xu DH et al., (2019), The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities., Curr Pharm Biotechnol. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. [Epub ahead of print]

Schlaeger JM et al., (2015), Acupuncture for the treatment of vulvodynia: a randomized wait-list controlled pilot study., J Sex Med. 2015 Apr;12(4):1019-27. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12830. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Maida V et al., (2017), Topical Medical Cannabis: A New Treatment for Wound Pain-Three Cases of Pyoderma Gangrenosum., J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 Nov;54(5):732-736. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Aug 14

Alimi Y. et al., (2018), The clinical anatomy of dyspareunia: A review., Clin Anat. 2018 Oct;31(7):1013-1017. doi: 10.1002/ca.23250. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Cohen AJ et al., (1998), Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction., J Sex Marital Ther. 1998 Apr-Jun;24(2):139-43.

Brody S., (2002), High-dose ascorbic acid increases intercourse frequency and improves mood: a randomized controlled clinical trial., Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Aug 15;52(4):371-4.

Powell J. et al., (1999), Acupuncture for vulvodynia., J R Soc Med. 1999 Nov;92(11):579-81.

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