If it hurts you to have intercourse and it’s having a negative effect on your sex life, you should know that you’re not alone. Many women experience pain during sex, and many of them don’t know where to turn for help.
When sex is associated with pain, it’s not much fun, which very quickly defeats the purpose. Luckily for you, there may be something you can do to resolve painful intercourse if you take some steps to treat the problem on your own or consult your doctor for help.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the most common cause of painful intercourse is insufficient vaginal lubrication. Whether as a side effect of certain drugs (like antihistamines, antidepressants, sedatives, and several others) or because of an imbalance of hormones like estrogen, you may find that you just don’t get wet enough naturally to facilitate sex. Another common cause can be insufficient foreplay which doesn’t give the woman enough time to get lubricated. In addition to being the most common cause of painful intercourse, it is also the easiest one to treat. Increase foreplay time and try to relax. If that doesn’t help naturally, you can add a sexual lubricant to help moisten things up down there.
If you’ve tried increasing lubrication and are still having trouble with painful sex, the problem could be physical or psychological. If the problem feels muscular, like there is a barrier blocking your partner from entering you, the most common cause is a condition called vaginismus. Vaginismus is the result of an involuntary vaginal muscle spasm, which makes intercourse painful, even unfeasible.
Vaginismus can be a physical or psychological malady, or a combination of the two. Vaginismus can be a hard and frustrating condition to treat. The type of treatment usually depends upon the individual, and the type and severity of the disorder. Currently, the most successful treatment is Systematic Desensitization. Systemic desensitization is a form of behavior therapy that uses relaxation exercises while being gradually exposed a source of anxiety. It’s said to have a 90 percent success rate.
Remaining pain can be divided into two distinct categories: deeper pain and more superficial pain. If you are having superficial pain in the vulva or lower vaginal canal, the most likely culprit is injury or infection. If you’ve started developing pain after having very frequent sex, you probably just need to rest a few days before trying again. If this doesn’t sound like your problem, it’s time to think about infections. Many women associate yeast infections only with cottage cheese-like discharge, but you can have a yeast infection and have pain as your only symptom. Your doctor can test for a yeast infection and treatment is very simple. Superficial pain during sex can also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), so be sure to let your doctor know if you think you could have been exposed to something so they can do the appropriate tests.
Deeper pain during sex can also have several causes, and for most of these you should talk to your general doctor or your OBGYN because they may require treatment. Endometriosis is a common disorder in which the tissue that lines the uterus can grow outside of your cervix. This condition can cause pain, especially around the time of your period.
Cysts and Fibroids
Ovarian cysts are another possible cause of deep pain during intercourse as are uterine fibroids, and both of these should be examined by a doctor.
Shallow Cervix/Long Penis
If you feel like your partner’s penis is colliding with your cervix, this issue can be fixed with a cushioned ring that he can put around the base of his penis so it doesn’t go in quite as deep. You may find this type of intervention is all you need to resolve your particular deep pain.
If you work together with your partner and your doctor, you can almost certainly bring an end to your problem with painful intercourse. Remember that it doesn’t have to be like this and treatments are available to try. By trying one of these tips or consulting your doctor as soon as possible, you’ll be enjoying sex again in no time.