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Common Causes Of Painful Intercourse

Person in pain

Sex should be a fun and enjoyable activity, but some women find that intercourse is uncomfortable or even painful.

If you’re experiencing painful intercourse, you’ll want to talk to your women’s care provider so that you can figure out what’s causing this discomfort and so that you can get set up with an effective treatment plan. But what could be causing your uncomfortable or painful intercourse? In today’s blog, we explore some of the common causes of painful intercourse.

Painful intercourse can present in a few different ways. For example, some women experience pain during the initial sexual entry, others experience discomfort with every penetration, while others experience a throbbing pain for hours after intercourse ends. Sometimes women describe their discomfort as a burning pain, while others experience a dull and deep pain. Different issues can lead to varying types of pain during intercourse, and we’re going to provide some examples as to why you may be dealing with your specific type of pain.

Pain During Entry

One of the more common reasons for pain during sexual entry is due to lack of lubrication. Vaginas are self-lubricating, but lack of foreplay or sexual arousal can decrease natural lubrication, leading to painful sex. Some women experience less natural lubrication as a result of a drop in estrogen levels, which can happen during menopause, while breastfeeding or because they are taking certain medications.

Trauma to the area during childbirth or an accident can also lead to pain during sexual entry, as can the presence of an infection like a UTI or STI. Some women also experience a condition called vaginismus, which is characterized by involuntary spasms of the vaginal wall, which can make penetration painful.

Deep Pain

Deeper discomfort can be exacerbated by your position, but it can also be indicative of an issue that warrants attention. A deep discomfort may be caused by some conditions or illnesses, including:

  • Endometriosis

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

  • Adenomyosis

The key is to figure out why discomfort is present so that you can pursue effective treatment strategies. You may not be able to completely resolve your underlying condition, but odds are there are treatments that can help to reduce or alleviate symptoms of uncomfortable intercourse. We should also note that a deep discomfort could also be the result of a previous surgery or medical treatment (like chemotherapy).

Emotional Aspect

Finally, because sexual intercourse is both a highly physical and emotional experience, certain emotional factors can play a role in the prevalence of painful intercourse. It’s possible that your physical pain is tied to issues like anxiety, depression, stress and self-doubt, which can all factor into your physical comfort during a sexual experience. Your previous experiences can also weigh heavy on your emotions and lead to pain during intercourse. Relationship issues, a history of partner abuse or a previous sexual abuse can all serve to make intercourse less enjoyable or even painful. Having a conversation with your women’s care provider can help you both get on the same page about some of the most effective ways to help you overcome previous trauma or underlying emotional burdens that are negatively impacting your sexual experience.

Don’t live in fear or intercourse because it is uncomfortable or painful. Countless women have gone through similar experiences and worked with their care provider to find an effective solution, and we can do the same for you. To talk with a provider about your issues during intimacy, or for help with a different women’s care matter, reach out to the team at MetroPartners OBGYN today at (651) 770-3320.