According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), three out of four women have experienced painful sex at some point in their lives. Some deal with the pain long term and some only have short-term issues. Either way, though, painful intercourse isn’t uncommon at all.
Dr. Farly Sejour of Solace Women’s Care in Conroe, Texas, is compassionate and understanding when it comes to women’s needs. Sex is an important part of a relationship for most couples, which is why Dr. Sejour is here to help.
Reasons for painful sex
A cure for painful sex isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. There are many reasons sex might be painful. Here are a few.
Vaginismus is a painful condition in which the muscles involuntarily contract or spasm when something enters the vagina. This can make sex difficult and even painful. If the pain subsides after the penis (or even a tampon) is withdrawn, that could be a sign of this condition. It’s been described by women as feeling like tearing, or sometimes like hitting a wall.
As women age, they lose a lot of natural lubrication due to hormonal fluctuations. This can make the vagina dry and thin and penetration painful.
Vulvodynia is a chronic, painful disorder in which the vulva experiences a burning sensation, itching, rawness, or a general feeling of soreness.
Vaginal infections (Vaginitis) can cause painful sex. You might notice an odd smell, or a burning and itching sensation. An infection can be many things such as:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Yeast infections
- Allergic reactions
- Viral vaginitis
These are only a few reasons you may be experiencing painful sex. Luckily, there are things you can do at home to relieve some of the pain.
What you can do at home
While you should have regular OB/GYN Wellness checkups, It’s not necessary to see a doctor for some of these problems. Here are some things you can try at home.
One of the easiest ways to prevent pain during intercourse is to make sure there’s enough lubrication. If you are experiencing a lack of lubrication, which frequently happens after childbirth or menopause, try using a water-based artificial lubricant. You can also try a silicone-based lubricant, which lasts longer and is less slippery than water-based lubricants. You should avoid using mineral oil, baby oil, or vaseline, especially if you’re using condoms during sex. These things can break down the latex and cause the condom to fail.
It’s not always a good time for sex. If you’ve recently given birth or experienced an injury or trauma, you may simply need to allow yourself to heal physically and emotionally before having sex again. The ACOG recommends communicating openly with your partner and letting them know what kinds of things hurt, as well as talking about the things you find pleasurable. Spend time with your significant other doing different activities like mutual massage.
If you think you may be suffering from a yeast infection, a quick trip to the drug store can help you out. There are plenty of options for healing a yeast infection at your local pharmacy with no prescription required. Other pain-relieving steps include taking a warm bath, emptying your bladder, or using an ice pack on the painful area.
When you should see a doctor
If you’re experiencing frequent pain during sex that won’t go away, including:
- Deep pain
- Aching pain
- Burning pain
- Pain only at sexual entry
- Penetrative pain even using a tampon
Sex shouldn’t hurt, and if it does, let us help you find a solution. Call our offices today at 936-441-7100 or send us a message using our convenient online contact form.