I’m feeling some pain during vaginal sex. What’s going on?
Sex shouldn’t hurt!
If sex hurts, something is not right. You shouldn’t ignore or tolerate pain during sex in the hope that it will go away by itself. Instead, take it as a sign that something needs to be fixed.
Following are some of the most common causes of painful sex in women:
- Insufficient foreplay is probably the most common cause of painful sex in women.
Women require a certain amount of time to be ready for sex. In its relaxed state, the vaginal canal is considerably smaller than the erect penis.
Without certain changes that take place during foreplay, penetration can be painful—or even impossible.
During foreplay, as sexual excitement increases, the vaginal walls start to loosen up, making room for the penis.
In addition, a natural lubricant is released in the vagina to facilitate penetration.
Cutting foreplay short means the vaginal canal will be insufficiently lubricated or too tight for the penis. In both cases, this inevitably leads to excessive friction and pain.
- Vaginal dryness can also cause painful sex. Some women’s natural lubricant is insufficient even after extended foreplay.
If the vaginal walls are too dry, excessive friction between the penis and the vagina can lead to painful sex.
Luckily, you can easily address this problem by using a small amount of artificial lubricant, which is inexpensive and widely available at drugstores.
- Excessive enthusiasm can also lead to painful sex. Some men and perhaps even some women believe that a stronger thrusting motion equals greater pleasure.
Although the technique might look exciting in an adult movie, chances are high that the excessive force will irritate the soft tissues of the vaginal canal.
- Medical conditions affecting the female genitals can cause painful sex. The following conditions are associated with pain during sex:
- Yeast infections,
- Urinary tract infections (UTIS),
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),
- Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STIs),
- Ovarian cysts (fluid-filled growths),
- Uterine fibroids (small growths on the uterine wall),
- Cysts or infections of the bartholin’s glands (two glands located on each side of the vaginal opening that release lubricant when a woman gets sexually excited),
- Vaginismus (involuntary contractions of the muscles in or around the vagina),
- Vulvodynia (a painful condition that can affect the entire vulvar region or just the vaginal opening).
The vast majority of these conditions can be easily diagnosed and cured by a doctor.
- Psychological issues might cause painful sex. Anxiety, fear, stress, and other emotional issues can all prevent you from reaching the relaxed state that is essential to enjoying sex. Identifying and removing the sources of stress cannot always be done alone.
When the problem is unclear, the best way to figure it out is to see a sex counselor.
A trained medical professional will be able to help you identify the root of the problem and provide strategies for addressing it.