Women’s Health

10 Causes of Painful Intercourse (Sex)

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Painful Intercourse

What Is Painful Intercourse (Sex)?

Painful intercourse or painful sex can be experienced as pelvic pain, vaginal pain, or pain in the labial or vulvar areas during sex. Pain may be experienced as deep pain, sharp pain, or a burning sensation.

What Causes Painful Intercourse (Sex)?

Pain during intercourse is one of the most common causes of problems of sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of such pain seems to be increasing over time. Possible reasons for this apparent increased prevalence include the following:

  • Changes in sexual behavior

  • An increase in the frequency of sexually transmitted diseases

  • Increased willingness to discuss sexual behavior and dysfunction.

  • Due to thinning and dryness of the vaginal walls after menopause, some women report that sex is more painful than prior to menopause.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: With PID, the tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.

  • Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Movements related to sex may stretch the endometrial tissue. Pain during sex is a common symptom of endometriosis. Penetration and other movements related to intercourse can pull and stretch endometrial tissue, particularly if it has grown behind the vagina or lower uterus.

  • Vulvodynia is a condition that causes chronic pain in the vulvar area that is not related to a known cause. Women with vulvodynia may experience pain with sexual intercourse.

  • Fibroid: fibroid can cause deep intercourse pain. The size of the fibroid. A large fibroid can produce pressure in the uterus and can cause intercourse to become painful. Additionally, when benign fibroid tumors grow in the area of your cervix at the end of the vaginal tract, they can make penetrative sex highly uncomfortable for women.

Other conditions that can cause painful intercourse include

  • injuries or irritation of the vagina due to any cause, infections, vaginismus (muscle spasms of the vaginal wall muscles), urinary tract infection, and skin conditions that affect the genital areas.

Natural or Home Remedies Help Relieve Painful Intercourse (Sex)

Applying lubricating gels to the outer sexual organs, the vulva, and labia, as well as using lubricating products in the vagina may be helpful to some women and ease pain during intercourse. Sex toys, such as vibrators or dildos, may also be useful. A woman should talk with her health care professional before attempting to use a vaginal dilator.

A woman may need to see the following specialists if you have painful intercourse:

  • Gynecologist: Thorough pelvic examination or testing

  • Urologist: Evaluation of the bladder and urethra

  • Behavioral health specialist: Evaluation of possible social or psychological contributors to the problem.

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