Paige Davis, host of commercial spaces, has just revealed that for three decades she has been experiencing intense pain during vaginal intercourse. “When I have sex, it feels like the ring in my vagina is on fire,” Davis said. People. « I feel like someone came in and put a thousand paper cutouts around my opening. » The condition causing her pain isn’t one of the most common behind this health issue, which is one of the reasons she’s opening up: to help other women who hope to understand why the sex is so painful.
Over the years, Davis, now 52, has had appointments with a number of different gynecologists on a mission to find out why sex feels the way it does, she said. in exclusivity People interview published on February 15. « I’ve always been blown away, » Davis said. « They told me to relax. » She wasn’t diagnosed until last year when she met Meera Kirpekar, MD, a dual board-certified physician in anesthesiology and pain medicine at NYU Langone Health, who diagnosed her with pudendal neuralgia. According to Oxford Medicine, pudendal neuralgia is pain in and around the pudendal nerve, which originates in the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and travels through the pelvic region to the urethra, anus, rectum, the perineum and genitals, carrying important and motor fibers. The condition is caused by nerve damage or dysfunction. It has been described as « a handicap pain syndromewhich can occur in people of all genders. Symptoms may include pain or a tingling, burning sensation in the clitoris, penis, vagina, scrotum, perineum, and rectum.
According to research cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Informationpudendal neuralgia is « mostly underdiagnosed » and « inappropriately treated ». The incidence of the disease is 1 in 100,000, but due to frequent misdiagnosis – or, as in Davis’s description, frequent layoffs – the incidence is expected to be higher. pudendal neuralgia is quite rare, almost three out of four women have experienced pain during intercourse, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). There are a number of reasons why people with vaginas may experience pain during sex. These include vaginal dryness; health conditions like endometriosis, vulvodynia, and vaginismus; skin disorders like eczema; congenital problems such as an imperforate hymen; and prior sexual trauma, Mayo Clinic said. Whatever the root cause, finding empathetic medical care for this type of problem can be extremely difficult.
« Paige is an example of someone who sought treatment but for various reasons was turned down, » Dr Kirpekar said. People. « She is proof that women must continue to advocate to be heard and legitimized in their care. »
Prior to his recent diagnosis, Davis had been hiding his pain for decades due to a combination of confusion about his condition and outright shame. « Which means on a first date, ‘Oh, by the way, when we make love, I’m going to suffer a lot. But that’s cool, right? » she said. For Davis, it became a cycle of suppression and play, saying she felt « broken » and « not normal » but still wanted to fulfill a certain sexual role. « We’re taught to be amazing when it comes to sex, that you’re supposed to please your partner. I took that to heart and just pretended, » she said. Even her husband of a quarter-century, actor Patrick Page, had no idea. aware of what she was going through every time they were intimate. « When we got married, he thought I liked sex. Guess what? I don’t…it really hurts, » Davis said, adding that she and Page are « handling the situation head-on now. »
Through Dr. Kirpekar’s expertise and over time, Davis learned that there were many ways to treat and manage her rare pelvic disease. She has incorporated pelvic floor therapy into her physical regimen and also receives regular steroid injections, for example. Davis also has kind words for those struggling with pain during sex, encouraging them to take the guesswork out of themselves and pay serious attention to how their bodies feel. « Sex shouldn’t hurt, » she said. « I want older women like me not to give up. There is hope and you can feel better if you find the right specialist. You’re not crazy, it’s not in your head , it’s not your fault. It can get better. »