Pain During Sex (and no, not the good kind)!

We’ve all been there. You’ve just had an incredible few dates with someone, you’re feeling great, have a non-ripped pair of lace undies on. Then, all of a sudden, something doesn’t feel great. OUCH!

Pain while getting it on is incredibly common. In fact, 3 out of 4 women will experience pain during intercourse at some point during their lives. There are many possible causes for pain during sex and we’ve explained some of those causes below! 

 

What’s Causing the Pain?

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs)

Around 20 million sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States. Common diseases spread through sexual intercourse, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes and syphilis, can cause vaginal irritation and pain.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It most often occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spreads from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the most common types of bacteria that can cause PID. These STDs are usually acquired when bumping uglies without a condom.

Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition in which a woman is affected by uncontrolled spasms of the vagina. Many women may experience vaginismus during their teens and early twenties. The underlying cause is usually due to a fear of intimacy. The involuntary tightening often results in pain while getting down and dirty. 

Sexual Dysfunction

One of the most common causes of pain while getting frisky is sexual dysfunction. Symptoms include decreased sexual desire and reduced arousal. Many times, emotions including fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment or awkwardness around having sex may make it difficult to relax causing arousal to be difficult and desire to be low.

Menopause

Menopause typically occurs around age 45 and onward and is marked by a decline in reproductive hormones and ultimately the end of periods. The decrease in estrogen is usually the culprit for vaginal dryness and therefore causing pain while getting intimate.

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors made up of muscle and fibrous tissue that form on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids typically affect women during their childbearing years, with as many as 70 – 80 percent affected.

Endometriosis

A condition in which tissue that lines the uterus is found outside of the uterus, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic structures. Symptoms include heavy, irregular or painful periods, pain during sex and infertility. Pain during sex occurs in people with endometriosis because penetration and other movements associated with intercourse can stretch and pull the endometrial growths.

 

What to Do Next?

If you have frequent or severe pain during sex, you should seek medical assistance so that the cause of your pain can be properly diagonsed and treated. Below, we touch on some common treatments for each of the above!

  • Prevent STDs and PID with Condoms

Like we learned in high school health class, condoms are 98% effective at protecting against most sexually transmitted infections. However, condoms don’t prevent herpes, syphilis and a few more infections which are spread through skin-to-skin contact. And, I’m sure we don’t have to remind you that when used correctly, condoms are also 98% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. 

  • Possible Treatments for Vaginismus and Sexual Dysfunction

Both of these possible causes for pain can be psychological or hormonal. Depending on the underlying causes, the treatment plan varies. Possible treatments include hormonal therapy or sex therapy with or without your partner. A sex therapist focuses on aspects of sexuality, from dealing with past trauma to helping people identify what arouses them.

  • Menopause Requires Similar Treatment Plans

Menopause can be treated through hormone therapy. Additionally, using a lubricant or vaginal moisturizer during sex may also be helpful. Finally, making time for adequate foreplay will aid with getting aroused properly.

  • Fibroids and Endometriosis  

Surgery to take out your fibroids or to take out your uterus are possible treatment options for uterine fibroids. Other treatment options are possible including pain medicine and also fibroid embolization. 

For sex with endometriosis, some positions put less pressure on areas of the pelvis that contain endometrial tissue. Comfortable positions often involve shallow penetration and your standard missionary is often most painful.  Additionally, extended foreplay, using lube, taking painkillers and having sex during certain times of the month can help with pain.

And, for once you have that pain under control, remember, YOU ARE THAT B*TCH! Now, go get it on! 

 

Sources:

https://columbusobgyn.com/patient-education/discomfort-during-intercourse/ 

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-reasons-women-dont-enjoy-sex-and-how-to-fix-them/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/why-does-sex-hurt/

https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/gynecologic-problems/when-sex-is-painful

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/painful-intercourse/symptoms-causes/syc-20375967

https://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book-excerpts/health-article/pain-during-intercourse-or-penetration/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12325-sexual-health-female-pain-during-sex-dyspareunia

https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/pain-during-sex.htmlhttps://www.princetongyn.com/blog/causes-and-solutions-for-painful-intercourse