Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) greatly affects the quality of life, libido, relationships, and self-image of the estimated 15% of women who have this condition.1 This prevalence increases in postmenopausal women with vulvovaginal atrophy.2 Dyspareunia prevalence, based on diagnostic coding, is likely underestimated because patients are often hesitant to discuss sexual pain with their clinician. Despite the preference of many patients to discuss these issues, clinicians may not initiate sexual health discussions because of a lack of time, lack of understanding about dyspareunia, or a perceived lack of importance.3 Clinicians can create a safe, confidential, professional encounter and initiate sexual health discussions with ubiquity statements such as “Many women may experience discomfort with sexual intimacy. Are there any sexual concerns you’d like to discuss?”
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Corresponding Author: Erin Gross, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California San Diego, 9444 Medical Ctr Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: April 18, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.4853
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Brubaker reported receiving compensation from UpToDate and Female Pelvic Medicine & Reproductive Surgery and grants from the National Institutes of Health outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
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