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One common medical issue is pain during intercourse. In couples therapy, Michele tells Dr. Berman that she stopped wanting to have sex when it started to be uncomfortable or painful. "And then it seemed like whenever we would have sex, I would end up with a urinary tract infection," she says. "So tell me how motivated you would be if you knew what was coming down the pike every time you were going to have sex."

Michele tells Dr. Berman her recent medical history. She had a hysterectomy but still has her ovaries. And for the past two years, she has experienced vaginal dryness. To counteract this, Michele says she and Greg have tried using a lubricant during sex. Dr. Berman says in their situation, a lubricant is not a real solution. "In a case like this, it's more like a Band-Aid than really solving the problem," she says.

Dr. Berman says Michele might have a hormonal imbalance. "If, indeed, it is a low estrogen issue, then that affects the health of your vaginal tissue and it affects your lubrication. And when that happens, when your vaginal walls get thin and dry and brittle, it's very easy not only to have pain and have it not be pleasurable and for there to be urinary tract infections as a result."

Michele says she's happy to hear the reason sex is painful could be treatable. "I thought I was allergic to sex, to be quite honest."
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FROM: Best Life Week: Relationships, Intimacy and Sex
Published on January 09, 2009

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