Sex is an important part of any romantic relationship. But unfortunately, pain with sex is very common. Nearly 75% of women suffer painful intercourse at some point in their lives — and when sex is painful, the resulting intimacy issues can take a toll on even the best relationships.
Painful intercourse has many possible causes, and symptoms can affect women of every age. The good news: It’s treatable.
Farly Sejour, MD, Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, and our team at Solace Women's Care in Conroe, Texas, are dedicated to finding answers. We work with women to diagnose the cause of their pain and develop treatments that help them enjoy their sex lives again.
If you dread the thought of sex because it hurts, here’s what to do.
Conservative remedies for painful intercourse
Menopause is the most common cause of pain with sex. As you get older, your reproductive hormone levels decrease and your body produces less natural vaginal lubricant — even when you’re aroused. As a result, your vagina may feel dry or itchy, and sex may feel uncomfortable or painful.
If you’ve noticed that intercourse is uncomfortable in perimenopause or menopause, consider trying an over-the-counter lubricant. Adding a lubricant increases moisture in your vagina to make penetration more comfortable.
For many women who are experiencing the changes of menopause, it’s all they need to relieve the pain.
Painful intercourse can also affect pre-menopausal women. Yeast infections are a common cause of vaginal pain, and most mild yeast infections can be remedied with over-the-counter medication.
Another element to consider is timing. Sex is as much a mental and emotional experience as a physical one, and the emotional effects of painful intercourse can make your symptoms worse.
To combat this, take time to relax and manage your stress levels. Never force or rush sex, and practice listening to and trusting your body so you can better understand your own needs.
When to see a doctor for painful intercourse
Remember that pain with sex isn’t normal. While these at-home remedies can offer relief and make sex more comfortable, never hesitate to schedule a gynecologist appointment if you’re concerned about your health.
Professional care for painful intercourse
Some types of acute discomfort can be remedied without a trip to the doctor, but other types of pelvic pain necessitate professional medical care.
Pain that’s deep, aching, or chronic could indicate a more serious underlying condition. Other signs to watch for are intense burning pain, or pain with any type of vaginal penetration, including tampons.
If these symptoms sound familiar, Dr. Sejour and our team are here to provide compassionate care.
We start with a comprehensive well-woman exam and a thorough review of your medical history and your symptoms. Our goal here is to identify possible underlying causes of your pain, such as a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids.
Once we identify a cause, we work with you on a treatment plan. In many cases, addressing the underlying condition can relieve pain with sex, as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing.
Sometimes intimacy issues are caused by conditions like vaginismus, which may benefit both medication and counseling.
You don’t have to suffer painful sex in silence. Find answers and experience a more satisfying sex life with help from our team at Solace Women’s Care. Contact us online or call our office at 936-441-7100 today.