What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable experience, but sometimes it hurts like hell. In fact, many women will experience painful sex at some point in their lives. Fortunately, the reasons for painful sex are usually easy to pinpoint and get treated. Sometimes, though, they are more difficult to treat, and this can lead to a dissatisfying sex life. No one wants that, so if sex is painful for you, then you may need to go to a doctor to find out why.
You may already have some idea, but others may come as a complete surprise to you. Usually, it's nothing to worry about and easily treated, but you may find that you have issues with conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.
Long story short: you owe it to yourself to find out why sex is painful. It should be something you look forward to and enjoy.
Sometimes bigger isn’t better. If your partner is particularly endowed, it can cause pain during sex. Different positions that allow for shallower penetration can help with this, such as side-by-side. As funny as this sounds, large penises can cause major pain for women, especially if they are not well lubricated beforehand.
Even an average-sized penis can cause painful sex if the lubrication is missing. Either engage in extended foreplay or consider using a water-based lubricant, such as KY. Be careful not to use a petroleum-based lubricant like Vaseline because it can destroy condoms.
Lubrication isn’t always about foreplay, though. In some cases, you can spend an hour on foreplay and still not be ready for sex. This is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance. For instance, women after menopause or those who have had a hysterectomy often find it difficult to produce enough natural lubrication. Some women just have dry skin in their genital region and need a product lubricant. If penetration and the friction of sex are painful, you may have a lubrication problem.
Injury, Trauma, Skin Disorders, and Infections
Of course, if there is injury to your vaginal or pelvic area, you are going to experience pain. Injury and trauma can happen as a result of particularly rough sex or sex without enough lubrication. This can cause micro-tears that end up hurting when penetrated again. Fortunately, the vagina is very vascular, and these tears tend to heal up quickly. If you go for round two of rowdy sex, though, you may experience pain.
Other causes of painful sex can include skin disorders. For instance, did you know it's possible to have eczema of the genitals? Other skin conditions can make sex painful, as well, such as simple dry skin.
If you have an infection, you may experience pain, too. Pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections may all cause you to have pain when you are having sex. You may not even want to have sex when you have these conditions, but if you do, you will probably be uncomfortable.
Any disease that arises from the pelvis or the reproductive organs can cause pain while engaging in sex. For instance, both endometriosis and fibroids can cause pain while having sex. Often, this symptom is the only indicator that you have these conditions, and you should always have painful sex checked out by a doctor. They can tell you if you have a condition of the pelvis and help you to work through it to solve the problem.
Even something as seemingly unrelated as hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome can make sex painful. This is because of the downward pressure on the pelvis that causes pain in the abdomen and anus. Shifting positions may help this, or it may make it worse. It helps to experiment if these conditions are chronic and cause a great deal of sexual pain.
Finally, cysts on the ovaries or in the pelvic region can also cause painful sex. This is another case where the painful sex may be the only symptom. If you’ve tried lubrication and still have pain, you need to get checked out by a doctor.
Prior Pelvic Surgeries
If you’ve had surgery on any of the organs of the pelvis, you may experience pain during sex. This includes appendectomy, hysterectomy, bowel resection, endometriosis removal, cancer-eliminating surgery, and any other invasive procedure below the waist. The reason for this is the scar tissue that the surgery leaves behind. Everything scars, and this includes the tissue inside your body. This scar tissue is commonly referred to as adhesions.
Adhesions tend to bind up the organs of the pelvis. They are like tough, unbreakable spider webs that spread through your body and connect one organ to the next. This can be painful because the adhesions can create connections that signal a pain response. The adhesions are activated particularly during sex because of the pressures from the act. Sex can press on adhered organs and cause pain in the pelvis that is deep and excruciating. Fortunately, further surgery can remove these adhesions and keep you from having pain.
Psychological trauma can sometimes cause painful sex. It isn’t only sexual abuse or assault, either. Unrelated depression or anxiety can sometimes make sex painful. For instance, anxiety and stress can cause the pelvic muscles to contract, and this makes penetration difficult.
The important point to note in this case is that you should not just assume your problem is mental in nature. Have a full workup done first if you are having pain with sex. This way, you know it isn’t any of the problems listed above that are causing the discomfort. If you rule out everything else and know that your pain is psychological in nature, it may help to talk to a therapist, particularly one dealing in sexual trauma. These professionals can guide you through your feelings and help you get to a point where sex isn’t painful or traumatic, but enjoyable and fun.