October 02, 2016 10 min read
Many women who complain about low libidos actually experience pain during sex, according to Dr Elna Rudolph, head of the multi-disciplinary team at My Sexual Health in Pretoria. "When it comes to sex, some medical practitioners feel out of their depth. They know that when sex is painful it can cause a massive divide in a relationship, but they don’t know how to address the issue and they often end up telling the patient there is nothing ‘wrong’ with her, because a clinical examination does not reveal any overt pathology like visible lesions, discharges or anatomical abnormalities. As a result, patients tend to move from one medical practitioner to the next hoping for a solution. In some instances, it takes years before she is diagnosed and treated.” Dr Rudolph noted that every time a woman is told that there is nothing wrong with her or that it is ‘all in her head’, she interprets it as meaning there is in fact something seriously wrong with her, because nobody can figure it out. She appealed to doctors to refrain from using the phrase ‘it is all in your head’ when consulting a patient who complains about painful sex. Rather say that you cannot find the cause for the pain and refer her to a centre that specialises in the management of painful intercourse.
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