Painful Sex Specialist

Joan K. Berman, M.D.

Gynecologist located in Upper East Side, New York City, NY

As an experienced gynecologist with specialized training in sex therapy, Joan Berman, MD, understands how painful sex can affect your quality of life and relationships. At her practice in the Upper East Side of New York City, Dr. Berman diagnoses and treats the root cause of painful sex in adolescent through mature women. If you’re experiencing pain during sex, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Painful Sex Q & A

What is painful sex?

Painful sex is a common women’s health issue that can create a variety of uncomfortable feelings before, during, or after intercourse. The medical term for persistent or recurrent painful sex is dyspareunia, and the cause may range from psychological factors to an underlying gynecological condition.

Many women experience painful sex as a temporary problem, but you should see Dr. Berman if the pain happens often. In addition to physical discomfort, painful sex that’s left untreated can have damaging effects on your sex life, self-esteem, and emotional intimacy.

How common is painful sex?

Nearly three out of four women experience painful sex at some point in their lives. For some, it’s a transitory issue that goes away on its own. For others, painful sex can be a long-lasting condition or symptom of a serious underlying medical problem.

What causes pain during sex?

There are many potential causes of painful sex, including several emotional, physical, and medical factors. Your current state of mind and stress level can make it difficult to relax, which may cause pain during sex. Other times, a history of abuse or problems in your relationship may create anxiety that makes sex painful.

Common causes of painful sex include:


This common condition makes your vaginal muscles contract involuntarily. Vaginismus may be due to a fear of being hurt and often responds well to different forms of therapy. Dr. Berman has completed a sex therapy program and has experience treating this condition.

Vaginal infections

Yeast infections and other types of vaginal infection may cause inflammation and discomfort during sex. Medications that treat the underlying infection usually resolve this type of pain.

Hormonal fluctuations

Changes in your hormone levels, such as during perimenopause or menopause, may lead to vaginal dryness. Insufficient lubrication is one of the most common causes of painful sex. Dr. Berman may recommend hormone therapy or vaginal rejuvenation with MonaLisa Touch® to reduce vaginal dryness.

How do you diagnose painful sex?

First, Dr. Berman performs a physical and pelvic exam to check for signs of disease. She asks questions about your sex life and type of symptoms to better diagnose your condition. Depending on your condition, she may perform other tests, such as an ultrasound.

Dr. Berman understands some topics are difficult to talk about and makes you feel comfortable and supported while discussing your concerns.

If you’re suffering from painful sex, Dr. Berman can help you find relief. Call or book an appointment online today.