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Women’s Health- Dealing with Painful Intercourse


This is really not something women want to talk about, but it is something can happen to any woman, at anytime. Most women stay silent about it and don’t talk to their doctor because they are embrarassed. You don’t need to be. This is a treatable condition, and more common that you think. Most women will suffer from this at least once.

Painful intercourse can be caused by a number of reasons, ranging from physical to psychological. The actual medical term for painful intercourse is dyspareunia (dis-puh-ROO-ne-uh). It is defined as ‘persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse’.

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing painful intercourse. There is no reason for you to suffer and not enjoy sex! Many times, the underlying cause can be treated and you can go back to enjoying your life!

Some symptoms may include:

  • Pain only at sexual penetration (entry)
  • Pain with every penetration, even while putting in a tampon
  • Pain with certain partners or just under certain circumstances
  • New pain after previously pain-free intercourse
  • Deep pain during thrusting, which is often described as “something being bumped”
  • Burning pain or aching pain

When to see your doctor
If you are experiencing painful intercourse, you need to talk to your doctor. Treating the problem can help not only your sex life, but your emotional intimacy and your self-image as well.

Physical causes of painful intercourse tend to differ, depending on whether the pain occurs at entry or with deep thrusting. Emotional factors can be associated with many types of painful intercourse.

If you have recurrent pain during sex, talking to your doctor is the first step in resolving it. Primary care doctors and gynecologists often ask about sex and intimacy as part of a routine medical visit, and you can take this opportunity to discuss your concerns. Your regular doctor may diagnose and treat the problem or refer you to a specialist who can.

You and your partner may be able to minimize pain with a few simple changes to your routine:

  • Change positions. If you experience sharp pain during thrusting, the penis may be striking your cervix or stressing the pelvic floor muscles, causing aching or cramping pain. Changing positions may help. You can try being on top of your partner during sex. Women usually have more control in this position, so you may be able to regulate penetration to a depth that feels good to you.
  • Communicate. You will actually need to Talk out loud- about what feels good and what doesn’t. If you need your partner to go slow, say so.
  • Go Slow. Longer foreplay can help stimulate your natural lubrication. And you may reduce pain by delaying penetration until you feel fully aroused.
  • Use lubricants. Lubricant can make sex more comfortable. But, you do need to read labels carefully or ask your doctor to recommend a product to try; for some women, personal lubricants that contain glycerin can promote yeast infections.

    Talk to your Doctor, talk to your partner. Don’t be silent about something that can be fixed!

You can find out more at: Mayo Clinic