A lot of women have gone through pains and serious discomfort during sex that many of them wonder if they would ever be able to enjoy sex with their husbands and partners.
Women can experience pain during or after sex, either in the vagina or deeper in the pelvis. While pain in the vagina could be caused by either an infection such as thrush or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or genital herpes.
Other forms of pains could be as a result of menopause, the changing hormone levels can make the vagina dry, lack of sexual arousal at any age, vaginismus, a condition where muscles in or around the vagina shut tightly, making sex painful or impossible genital irritation or allergy caused by spermicides, latex condoms or products such as soap.
The pain felt inside the pelvis can be caused by conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, fibroids growing near your vagina or cervix, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation.
So let us take a look at some of the causes of pains during sex and what can be done to treat them.
1. Vaginal Infection
Some women do not really know they have been infected because apart from the well-known STDs, there are certain vaginal infections that a woman can contact and these could lead to painful sex.
Infections like vaginal yeast infections and trichomoniasis are often present without noticeable symptoms.
However, during sexual intercourse, the rubbing motion of the penis against the vagina and genitalia sometimes cause the symptoms of these vaginal infections to manifest.
Symptoms like stinging, burning and searing pains tend to intensify. Related to these could be genital herpes that can cause serious pain during sex.
Vaginismus is another common condition in which there is a spasm in the vaginal muscles, mainly caused by the fear of being hurt or prior trauma. And this can cause painful sex.
2. Vaginal Irritation
Many of the products women use to wash their private parts contain irritants that can cause vaginal irritation, thereby leading to discomfort or pain during vaginal sexual intercourse.
Some other causes of these irritations could be as a result of the use of contraceptive foams, lubricating creams, jellies, vaginal sprays, sanitary pads, detergents, deodorant soaps, excessive vaginal douching, and some types of condoms.
3. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness often leads to painful sexual intercourse. Normal vaginal lubrication is a given for most women; however, the vagina may be dry at certain times, making vaginal penetration painful.
Lack of vaginal lubrication can be caused by several factors including trying to achieve vaginal penetration too fast before enough stimulation has occurred to allow normal vaginal lubrication to take place, feeling nervous or tense about the sexual experience.
This can slow the release of vaginal lubrication, using a condom without the addition of a vaginal lubricant, (saliva is acceptable for vaginal lubrication, but never use petroleum-based products, as they can deteriorate condoms and contribute to vaginal infections.)
Hormonal imbalance during menopause, the years preceding menopause, or following childbirth, can also add to pains you experience during sex.
4. Vaginal Tightness
This occasionally happens when you feel tense, or are not fully relaxed when penetration occurs. Difficulty penetrating a tight vagina can happen even when vaginal lubrication is not a problem.
The first few times you engage in sexual intercourse, the vagina may be tight due to an unstretched hymen, which can cause pain at the time of penetration.
5. Pain in the clitoris
The clitoris is the most sensitive part of the female genitalia. Gentle touching or rubbing of the clitoris is extremely pleasurable for some women, while it is unbearably painful for others.
Clitoral pain may also occur due to poor hygiene; vaginal secretions may collect under the clitoral hood and may lead to pain if not properly washed away.
6. Pelvic Pain
Occasionally, a woman will experience pelvic pain upon deep, thrusting penetration. Many conditions may cause this pain including tears in the ligaments that support the uterus and the known causes for these problems include during childbirth, inappropriately performed abortion, previous violent sexual intercourse or rape, cervical, uterine, or tubal infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
This is a painful, and often hard to diagnose chronic condition that causes a burning and/or stinging sensation of the vulva and vagina.
Other causes of pains during sex has been traceable to the following conditions:
Problems with the cervix (opening to the uterus): The penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration. Therefore, problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.
Problems with the uterus: These may include fibroids that can cause deep intercourse pain.
Endometriosis: A condition in which the endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) grows outside the uterus.
Problems with the ovaries: Such problems might include cysts on the ovaries.
Pelvic inflammatory disease: The tissues deep inside become badly inflamed, and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.
Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy in which a fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus.
Remember this: Pain and discomfort are never part of normal sexual intercourse. If you experience pain during sex, don’t be afraid to tell your partner who has no way of knowing that you’re uncomfortable unless you talk about what you’re feeling.
Also, make sure to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause.