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Paige Davis Opens Up About 30 Years of Pain During Sex: ‘Sex Should Not Hurt’


Paige Davis Opens Up About 30 Years of Pain During Sex: ‘Sex Should Not Hurt’

Paige Davis, the host of Trading Spaces, has just revealed that for three decades, she has experienced intense pain during vaginal sex. “When I have intercourse, I feel like the ring of my vagina is on fire,” Davis told People. “It feels like somebody went in and put a thousand paper cuts around my opening.” The condition at the root of her pain isn’t one of the common ones behind this health issue, which is one of the reasons she’s opening up: to help other women hoping to pinpoint why sex feels so painful.

Over the years, Davis, now 52, had appointments with a number of different gynecologists in a mission to determine why sex felt the way it did, she said in the exclusive People interview published February 15. “I was always blown off,” Davis said. “They told me to just relax.” It was only last year that she got her diagnosis when she met Meera Kirpekar, M.D., 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 stems from the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and runs through the pelvic area to the urethra, anus, rectum, perineum, and genitalia, carrying important sensory and motor fibers. The condition is caused by damage to or dysfunction of the nerve. It has been described as “a debilitating pain syndrome” which can occur in people of all genders. Symptoms may include pain, or a tingling and burning sensation in the clitoris, penis, vagina, scrotum, perineum, and rectum. 

According to research cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, pudendal neuralgia is “mostly underdiagnosed” and “inappropriately treated.” The incidence of the condition is 1 per 100,000, but because of frequent misdiagnosis—or as it was in Davis’s description, frequent dismissal—the incidence is expected to be higher. While pudendal neuralgia is quite rare, nearly three in four women have experienced pain during sex, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)….

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