Painful intercourse according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > Symptoms list > Painful intercourse

Painful intercourse can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like painful intercourse here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here painful intercourse is often associated with vulvar itching, insomnia and dark urine in the pattern “Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of painful intercourse we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Long Dan Xie Gan Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.

Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause painful intercourse

In Chinese Medicine painful intercourse is a symptom for the pattern "Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

The Liver is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Liver in Chinese Medicine

Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel

Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue coating: Thick coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

In addition to painful intercourse, other symptoms associated with Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel include vulvar itching, insomnia and dark urine.

From a Western Medicine standpoint Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel is associated with health issues such as Vaginal Itching.

Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel is often treated with Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula made of 10 herbs (including Chinese Gentian - Long Dan Cao - as a key herb). Long Dan Xie Gan Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that clear heat from the organs", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder".

Read more about Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel here

A herbal formula that might help with painful intercourse

Long Dan Xie Gan Tang

Source date: 1682 AD

Number of ingredients: 10 herbs

Key actions: Clears Heat and Fire from the Liver and Gallbladder. Clears and drains Damp-Heat from the Lower Burner.

Why might Long Dan Xie Gan Tang help with painful intercourse?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel' of which painful intercourse is a symptom.

According to Chinese Medicine, Damp-Heat in the Liver Channel can contribute to many health issues, including Vaginal Itching.

Read more about Long Dan Xie Gan Tang here

Chinese Gentian might help with painful intercourse

Why might Chinese Gentian (Long Dan Cao) help with painful intercourse?

Because it is a key herb in Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern '' (a pattern with painful intercourse as a symptom)

Chinese Gentian is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter. It targets the Gallbladder, the Heart, the Large intestine, the Liver and the Lung.

Its main actions are: Expels Damp-Heat especially in the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. Clears Liver-Fire. Clears Liver-Wind.

Read more about Chinese Gentian here