Painful intercourse can occur for reasons that range from structural problems to psychological concerns. Many women have painful intercourse at some point in their lives.
The medical term for painful intercourse is dyspareunia (dis-puh-ROO-nee-uh), defined as persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse. Talk to your doctor if you’re having painful intercourse. Treatments focus on the cause, and can help eliminate or lessen these common problems.
Common Problems That Can Cause Pain:
- Vaginal infections. These conditions are common and include yeast infections.
- Problems with the cervix (opening to the uterus). In this case, the penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration. So problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.
- Problems with the uterus. These problems may include fibroids that can cause deep intercourse pain.
- Endometriosis. This is a condition in which the tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.
- Problems with the ovaries. Problems might include cysts on the ovaries.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). With PID, the tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.
- Ectopic pregnancy. This is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg develops outside the uterus.
- Menopause. With menopause, the vaginal lining can lose its normal moisture and become dry.
- Intercourse too soon after surgery or childbirth.
- Sexually transmitted diseases. These may include genital warts, herpes sores, or other STDs.
- Injury to the vulva or vagina. These injuries may include a tear from childbirth or from a cut (episiotomy) made in the area of skin between the vagina and anus during labor.
Things you can try at home to releve painful sex.
- 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. Do not use petroleum jelly, baby oil, or mineral oil.
- Make time for sex. Set aside a time when neither you nor your partner is tired or anxious.
- Talk to your husband. Tell your husband where and when you feel pain, as well as what activities you find pleasurable.
- Try sexual activities that do not cause pain. For example, if intercourse is painful, you and your husband may want to focus on oral sex.
- Try nonsexual, but sensual, activities like massage, hugging, kissing
- Take pain-relieving steps before sex: empty your bladder, take a warm bath, or take an over-the-counter pain reliever before intercourse.
- To relieve burning after intercourse, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a small towel to the vulva.
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