Pain During Sex: Why It Happens And What To Do

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Pain during sex isn’t a fun thing. However, many women have painful sex at some point in their life. Nearly one in ten women experience painful intercourse, according to a large study. 

Sex shouldn’t hurt. Let’s find out what pain during intercourse is and what can be done to eliminate this common problem.

What is painful sex?

When we talk about painful intercourse, it’s not only the pain during penetration that we need to consider. Painful sex can manifest in pain or discomfort in the vaginal, pelvic or labial areas during or just after sexual intercourse. The medical term for this condition is dyspareunia.  

Symptoms of painful intercourse

If you have painful sex, you may notice

Causes of painful intercourse 

Many factors can contribute to pain during sex. Causes can be physical and emotional. 

Pain on sexual entry can be caused by insufficient lubrication, trauma, irritation, inflammation, infection,vaginismus and congenital abnormality skin diseases such as contact dermatitis and eczema. Some health conditions, surgeries or medical treatments can result in deep pain. Emotional factors may play a role too. Stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological problems can lead to painful sensations. A history of sexual abuse can contribute to this problem too. 

What can be done to solve the problem

Visit your doctor if you experience painful sex. Treatment can help eliminate or ease the pain, but only a doctor can find the cause of the problem. If you notice pain, itchiness, and unusual discharge, your doctor may recommend you take an STI test. Pain during sex can be a symptom of vaginal thrush, and your physician can help you with this. 

If you experience vaginal dryness and pain during sex, your doctor may advise you to use a lubricant. 

If you have an allergy or notice irritation in your genital area, your doctor can advise you on which products to avoid. 

If pain during intercourse is caused by psychological issues, a sex therapist or counselor can help. 

 

Reviewed by Medical expert Lilit Nasibyan, MD

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