Do you find sex painful? Well, you are not alone in that journey. In the actual fact, a surprising 30% of women report that they experience pain during their last sexual encounter. There are actually a lot of reasons for painful sex. Some of which, we will discuss in this article. If you want to know these and more, feel free to give this article a read.
Reasons for Painful Sex
Table of Contents
Here are some of the most common reasons for painful sex:
Vaginismus is a condition that causes your vagina muscles to involuntary spasm shut. This, make any penetration very difficult, extremely painful or simply impossible. And it isn’t just sexual encounters that it can occur, also inserting tampons, and gynaecological exams can be a problem.
It seems to be mainly a psychomatic syndrome, which means that it’s your brain and not your body causing the issue. Furthermore, there are a lot of possible triggers for vaginismus. Moreover, some factors include being stressed out and anxious, being taught a negative education about sex that emphasis fear and pain, previous sexual abuse, experiencing painful vaginal conditions. This includes UTI, yeast infections or vulvodynia and thinking the vagina is too small.
The good news is that it can be treated and how it is treated is dependent on the cause of it. The first step to take is if penetration is causing you pain, then stop doing it. If the cause is psychological, sex therapy could be recommended. This could be counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), as well as treatments such as vaginal trainers and relaxation techniques.
This condition effects women of all ages and it can be excruciatingly painful. Karen describes the condition as a split at the back of the entrance of the vagina, at 6 o’clock, or right down the middle of the entrance of your vagina.
If you hold up your thumb and index finger, and tighten the skin between them, the split feels like this. This skin will take the brunt of penetration when you are having sex, so you can imagine how painful this will be.
You could always had this split in your vagina, which becomes apparent the first time you have intercourse. Sometimes, it happens after childbirth when you have been stitched a little more tightly or sometime. Furthermore, it can occur later in life when you simply aren’t as stretchy as you were. A simple operation, Fenton’s procedure, is done under a general anaesthetic. Furthermore, this will take away that tight bridge. Additionally, a cut is made at the vaginal entrance, vertically towards the rectum and then stitched horizontally. This widens the opening to the vagina.
GPs tend to suggest lubricant, or perhaps suggest that is psychological. No it isn’t, it’s an absolutely dreadful pain, almost like a paper cut.
Your body goes through so many changes after childbirth and having sex may be the last thing on your to-do list. Moreover, you may be tender from stitches after childbirth or just more tired and understandably not so keen. However, many women don’t realize that when you’re breastfeeding, you’re essentially menopausal and that’s why you don’t have periods.
Breastfeeding affects the hormones, the levels of estrogen will be lower just like during menopause. So the vagina will be dry and undernourished, a bit like sandpaper. Furthermore, this can easily be treated by rubbing some estrogen cream to nourish it. In this case, lubricant will work as well.
Post-menopause and Menopause
A staggering 88% admitted to experiencing vaginal dryness, as well as many are uninformed or too embarrassed to ask about it. During the menopause, many women experience changes in the vagina that can cause a lot of discomfort. Additionally, this is due to the lack of estrogen, which causes dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissues. Thus, making sex uncomfortable and painful.
Professionals say that if you’re taking HRT, you shouldn’t really need anything else. But if for one reason or the other you aren’t, then put some estrogen cream, or an estrogen pessary, into the vagina twice a week. This will be plenty to keep the tissue well-nourished and healthy and resistant to germs.
Vaginal Dryness Because of the Lack of Arousal
Lack of arousal is an extremely common cause of painful sex. Moreover, professionals say that lack of arousal is by far the most common reason for painful sex.
When you’re not getting turned on and you don’t produce enough fluid for lubrication, the rubbing will cause friction, heat, and burning. Moreover, this pain can last for hours, or sometimes days. Furthermore, women may also get wet during foreplay but they don’t necessarily stay wet during penetration. On top of that, oral sex could even be making things even worse
Oral sex can cause even more irritation and often people find that strange. Furthermore, they think saliva can be used as lubrication. In fact, it’s not very good because it just dries and makes it sore. But the penetrative sex, either the rubbing of chaffing, dries you out. Or all the things that got you wet have stopped and although it may be enjoyable it may not necessarily be what women want.
There you have it, most common reasons for painful sex.