Painful Intercourse - Why?

Sexual intercourse isnít supposed to be painful, ok well there are some of us that do like a little pain with our sex but thatís not what Iím getting at here. Many women experience painful sex and it can be downright agonizing.

 Women frequently have a hard time talking about painful intercourse. They find it embarrassing and instead suffer in silence. This isnít a great idea! You owe it to yourself and your partner to seek medical attention.

 There are many causes of painful intercourse. I will list some of them here. However if youíve been experiencing pain during intercourse Iíd recommend that you see your doctor to help you determine what exactly is causing the problem. 


This condition is an involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vagina causing the muscles to contract making penetration difficult, painful or downright impossible. Itís origins are of a psychological nature. 

Vaginismus is generally caused by any of the following reasons and can be a result of any combination of these reasons.

The women who experience this particular problem are not typically found to be frigid. They do enjoy and respond to manual or oral stimulation that result in orgasms. An appropriate treatment can be determined with help from a gynecologist or sex therapist. 

The therapist may recommend using plastic dilators to dilate the vagina, starting with a very small one and working up to larger ones. This type of therapy should definitely involve your partner if you are in a current relationship.  Education on subjects such as sexual anatomy, physiology, sexual response cycle and common myths about sex should also be incorporated into the therapy. 


This condition refers to pain in the pelvic area during or after sexual intercourse. This pain is often associated with vaginal and pelvic infections, episiotomies and perinea tearing during childbirth or from a uterus is that is tipped back (retroverted). This will sometimes occur with menopause due to declining estrogen levels, which cause the vaginal walls to thin and become dry. 

You should seek medical attention to rule out a vaginal or pelvic infection. If there is no infection then ensure that foreplay occurs for a sufficient length of time to allow the vagina to lengthen and to ensure that the cervix will not be bumped during intercourse. 

Using a water based lubrication will also help to ease penetration pain. 


This condition refers to pain in the vulva, the external female genitals. It typically has an acute onset and can generally be associated with vaginitis (yeast or bacterial), changes in sexual activity (new sex partner) or medical procedures on the vulva (cryotherapy, laser).

The vulvar pain can then become a chronic problem that lasts for months or even years and a pain levels that range from mild to disabling. It can be a burning, stinging sensation or be irritating and raw. 

There are four common subtypes of vulvodynia that your health professional will consider in regards to management of this condition.

 Some common sense things are to avoid products like pelvic deodorants, talcum powder, scented napkins, wear pure cotton underwear to allow the area to breath. 

These notes are not meant to take the place of visiting a health professional but to merely give you some ideas as to why you may be experiencing pain during sexual intercourse.


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