5 Things You Need to Know About Pain From Intercourse

1. More Common Than You Think

Experts estimate that nearly 60 percent of women experience pain from intercourse or dyspareunia. Genital pain that is experienced before, during and/or after sexual intercourse that causes personal distress is considered dyspareunia. However, the levels of pain as well as the location will vary greatly from woman to woman. Most women experience superficial pain, or pain on entry, while others can experience pain during deep penetration, with every penetration (even tampon use), or only with certain partners and certain circumstances.

2. Give It A Rest?

Many women who suffer from pain from intercourse may think that simply giving their vagina a rest will help to alleviate the symptoms they’re experiencing. Depending upon the cause of your unique pain, giving sex a rest may or may not help to alleviate the underlying problem causing the pain. The majority of the time, giving sex a rest without also treating the underlying cause will not resolve the pain. Seeing your health care provider to help figure out what is causing the pain as well as seeking out proper treatment is your best route to being pain free.

3. Seek Help

As with most other painful conditions, seeking help soon after the onset of pain during intercourse is most beneficial. Pain during intercourse can quickly have you harboring negative feelings toward sex, intimacy and other negative emotional side effects. Finding out what the problem is, addressing it and moving on to a healthy, pain free sex life is important for you personally and for your relationships.

4. Sufficient Lubrication

In many cases the cause of pain during intercourse is an inadequate amount of lubrication. This can be hormone driven (often breast feeding moms report dryness that interferes with normal sexual activity) or because of a lack of foreplay. Increasing the time you spend on foreplay will give your body time to respond with sufficient lubrication. If that doesn’t work, many couples use sexual lubricant with much success. If your pain is caused by insufficient lubricant, these strategies should work quickly to resolve your discomfort.

5. Multiple Causes of Painful Intercourse

There are many causes of painful intercourse. Some are organic in nature, others are infection, and still others are emotional. Some are easily remedied and others take more work and treatment. Vaginal infections such as yeast and vaginitis can easily cause painful intercourse but can also easily be resolved. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also infections and need to be treated immediately. Endometriosis, cysts on the ovaries, fibroids on the uterus and other functional difficulties can be treated or managed with help from your health care provider. Emotional causes need to be addressed–and physical causes ruled out–not only for your physical well being but for your mental and emotional well being as well. Do not be embarrassed, pain during intercourse is common and your health care providers are there to help.

About this Author

Lara Alspaugh is a freelance writer living in Michigan. She is a Registered Nurse and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Michigan State University. Her writing appears in parenting and fitness magazines nationwide and online, addressing health, fitness and wellness concerns of families.