What Are The Causes Of Painful Intercourse?
Painful intercourse can be a frustrating experience and interfere with a fulfilling sex life. Determining the root cause of any pain you are experiencing during sex is the first step toward finding a solution and possible treatment. For most cases of painful intercourse, your gynecologist is the best equipped to diagnose, advise and treat the underlying issue.
Nonmedical Causes Of Painful Intercourse
Many times the reason why sex is painful can be related to the prep, or lack thereof. Sex that is too rough or frequent can result in pain from the repeated friction, especially if you are not well lubricated. If your partner is not giving you sufficient time to become aroused and naturally lubricated, pain during sex is a very real possibility. For these women as well as older women who often produce less vaginal secretions, buying and using a lubricant can go a long way toward making sex more enjoyable. The reasons for vaginal dryness are many, and they are not a sign of failure or lack of interest, so do not feel ashamed at opting for lubrication.
Another nonmedical cause of painful intercourse can be the size of your partner’s penis. He may simply be too large, and your lack of arousal due to fear of pain may exacerbate it. Experimenting with different positions, especially those that allow you to control the depth of penetration, may help. As always, lubricants and allowing time for sufficient arousal also may lessen or eliminate pain. Lastly, in some cases, a large penis size may truly be incompatible with your body if all alternatives have failed to alleviate the pain.
Medical Causes Of Pain During Sex
Pain during sex frequently can be caused by certain sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, even if you lack the common symptoms. Yeast infections also can lead to painful sex, and self-treatment is often not enough because an unaware partner can simply reinfect you. Your gynecologist can perform any required examination and testing to determine if either of these scenarios affect you and can put you on an effective course of treatment.
Sometimes painful intercourse is a sign of a much more serious problem, such an endometriosis, and necessitates treatment as soon as possible to preserve fertility and function. Cervical cancer or cysts also can be the underlying cause of sexual pain, which is why you should visit your OB/GYN whenever pain during sex is frequent. Other potential reasons for pain during sex include:
- Perimenopause and menopausal changes
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Healing from recent childbirth
Things To Consider
There are far too many causes for pain during sexual intercourse to risk an attempt at self-diagnosis. As a general rule, if additional lubrication, relaxation and alternate sexual positions fail to work, you should discuss your sexual pain with your gynecologist. Some problems and resulting pain will only get worse if you try to merely endure it. Treatment and relief are available for the most conditions that result in pain during intercourse, but determining the problem is the first step.
Dr. Jill Gibson is an OB/GYN experienced in addressing pain during sexual intercourse. To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
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