It’s great to be in your partner’s arms, sharing kisses and feeling euphoric, right? But if you dread what’s to follow because of pain, you need to read this. Sex, for the most part, can be an awkward circus of flying limbs and strange noises, but it isn’t supposed to hurt. Yes, you may have some discomfort the first time you engage in sexual intercourse but that’s about it. Unfortunately, painful sex is a reality for many women.

Pain during intercourse, along with other problems such as sexual response, desire, orgasm, are collectively called as Female Sexual Dysfunction or FSD. It’s a wide topic that needs attention to create a sex-positive space for both women and men.

Did You Know?
A study showed that 55.55% of women suffer from Female Sexual Dysfunction or FSD, and it is more prevalent in the age group of 26–30 years.

5 Major Causes Of Sexual Pain

Hormonal changes, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, skin disorders, childbirth and many more are issues that can result in pain during intercourse. Visiting the right doctor and indulging in self-care helps combat these problems. Here are some things you need to know:

1. Bleeding

It’s pretty common to bleed after, or during your first time as the hymen gets stretched, torn, or just irritated by the friction. Even being surprised by the early arrival of your period is no big deal. If you’ve recently finished menstruating, it’s also possible to have residual blood and spotting when you have sex right after. And it can be painful at times.

2. Vaginal Dryness

This absolutely isn’t a sign that you are not in the mood. Vaginal dryness can happen due to a variety of reasons. Hormonal imbalance caused by low estrogen or menopause can cause a lack of lubrication. Some other factors that affect your vagina’s natural ability to lubricate itself are medication, mental health, and urban lifestyle choices.

3. Vaginismus

Vaginismus is an often-painful involuntary contraction of vaginal muscles. Women often term it as ‘muscles spasming and contracting uncontrollably during penetration’. This not only hampers your sex life but makes it difficult to get gynaecological examinations or insert tampons. Fear of penetration, sexual abuse, fear of sex, or even anxiety can the cause of this condition.

4. Honeymoon Cystitis

When you first start having sex, you end up doing it a lot initially, like the start of a relationship or your honeymoon. Honeymoon cystitis can occur when a woman has sex for the first time, or when a woman has sex after a long period of time without any sexual activity. Frequent intercourse can push the bacteria in and around the vagina, anus or perineum to travel into the urethra and cause infections and inflammation.

5. Vulvodynia

This is a pain-related disorder that affects the vulva. When pain is confined to the vestibule (the area around the opening of the vagina), it is known as vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS). A sensation of burning, stinging, itching or rawness are some of the common symptoms. Though the cause of this disorder is unclear, if it lasts for more than 3 months, so you should visit your doctor.

Did You Know?
Studies show that 50–60% of women in the world will develop a UTI in their lifetimes.

5 Ways To Help Prevent Painful Sex

Visiting your Ob/Gyn is a must if you suffer from any of these issues. Here is some advice that most healthcare professionals agree upon.

  1. Drink lots of water, wipe front to back, and urinate before and after sex to minimise the chances of UTIs.
  2. Try physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles if you’ve given birth.
  3. Kegel exercises can be helpful in controlling the pubococcygeus muscle, which surrounds the entrance to the vagina.
  4. Avoid products like douches, soaps and vaginal washes because they can cause irritation and unwanted reactions.
  5. Consult your Gynaecologist and get tests done if the problem persists.

Did You Know?
The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven, so avoid using douches or cleaning products inside it. While you shouldn’t wash inside your vagina, it’s a good idea to wash your vulva with a mild, fragrance-free soap.

8 Things You Can Do To Help With Pain During Sex

Some self-care measures can bring relief. Here are remedial measures you can try to combat painful sexual intercourse.

  1. Use a lubricant. Water-soluble lubricants are a good choice if you experience vaginal irritation or sensitivity. Silicone-based lubricants last longer and tend to be more slippery than water-soluble lubricants.
  2. Make time for sex. Schedule in some time when neither you nor your partner is tired or anxious.
  3. Communicate with your partner. Tell your partner where and when you feel pain, and which positions are uncomfortable.
  4. Talk about what turns you on and activities that you find pleasurable. Try new positions or activities to make sex more enjoyable rather than painful. Also, go slow and steady when having sex. Learn to walk before you run.
  5. Try sexual activities that do not cause pain. If intercourse is painful, you and your partner can engage in oral sex or mutual masturbation.
  6. Go sensual instead of sexual. Take a break from sex if it is causing too much pain and connect physically with a massage.
  7. Take pain-relieving steps before sex. Empty your bladder, take a warm bath or take an over-the-counter pain reliever before intercourse.
  8. To relieve burning after intercourse, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a small towel to the vulva.

Sex between you and your partner should be enjoyable, not hurt or cause you stress. Start off by visiting your Ob/Gyn or healthcare provider. Remember, some conditions might need medication, medical procedures, physical therapy, or help from medical specialists to be taken care of. But, with the help of your doctor and these tips, you can move past the pain and back to a pleasurable experience.

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.