How To Cope With Painful Sex

How To Cope With Painful Sex

“Don’t hesitate to ask for a specific sex counsellor for certain conditions where feelings of fear, guilt and bad feelings due to past abuse or feelings of conflict are interfering with your sex life”

Understanding Dyspareunia

Approximately, 30 per cent of women experience pain during intercourse and there are a lot of women who do not discuss this problem and either keep on suffering with the pain or choose to lead a life without sex. Painful sex or medically known as dyspareu nia is a condition whereby a woman experiences pain during intercourse.

The pain may vary from a mild discomfort to a severe condition called vulvodynia. Whether the pain is mild or severe, this problem should be addressed as early as possible and medical help should be sought, as this can lead to relationship problems and in severe cases may lead to depression in women.


Vaginal dryness

Lack of lubrication is the most common cause for pain. To prevent a woman should try to relax. Also, some lubricant can be used during intercourse to avoid the pain.


Vulvovaginitis due to yeast, or trichomoniasis may also cause painful intercourse.


This is an involuntary spasm of the vaginal and thigh muscles due to fear of pain. It is a very common condition and counselling is needed to overcome this condition.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Infection of the upper genital tract may cause deep dyspareunia and usually is due to pelvic infection which needs proper treatment.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Herpes, warts and ulcerative lesions of the vulva causes pain during intercourse.


It may also cause deep dyspareunia in some cases, where it involves the uterosacral and vaginal wall.


It is a type of chronic pain syndrome which affects the vulva or external female genitalia.


Intercourse may be painful after menopause because of dryness and lack of lubrication as this is caused due to lack of hormones at this stage of life.

Other causes such as ovarian cysts, fibroids and some cervical factors, may rarely cause painful sex.


Medical Treatment

Some of the causes of painful sex can easily be dealt with, without the need of any medication, like pain after childbirth or episiotomy, in these cases waiting for at least six weeks after delivery, helps in healing the local wounds and soreness also goes away.

The dryness of the vagina can be solved by using water based lubricants during intercourse. Conditions which need specific treatment are vulvo-vaginal infections, endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory diseases. Also, some hormonal creams and oestrogen creams help with the dryness related to menopause.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask for a specific sex counsellor for certain conditions where feelings of fear, guilt and bad feelings due to past abuse or feelings of conflict are interfering with your sex life. Similarly, do report bleeding, severe pain, involuntary muscle spasm or vaginismus to your doctor.

Vaginismus needs careful handling by gynaecologists and psychologists and you may need multiple sittings for counselling and serial examinations with tender loving care. However, it is important to be aware that vaginismus is completely curable and women need confidence to overcome this situation.


Desensitization Therapy

In this therapy, you will be taught about pelvic and vaginal relaxation exercises that decreases pain and also kegel exercises and other techniques to tackle painful intercourse.

Counselling Or Sex Therapy

Due to painful intercourse, some negative emotional changes come about in partners and they start avoiding each other. In these cases, counselling is very important and talking to a sex counsellor will help resolve these issues. Cognitive behavioural therapy also helps in changing the negative emotional impacts of this situation.

SeIf-Help Measures

Apart from medical help, here are a few measures to help women get relief from painful intercourse:

  • Use lubricants to prevent dryness
  • Communicate with your partner regarding your problem.
  • Sharing these concerns with your partner helps in dealing with the situation more efficiently
  • Try sexual activities which do not cause pain
  • You can also try some pain relieving steps such as emptying your bladder or taking an over-the-counter
  • painkiller before intercourse, but do discuss with your doctor about this
  • Take a shower
  • You can apply an ice pack on the vulva after intercourse to relieve the burning sensation

Health Tip

Women all over the globe experience pain during a sexual intercourse at some point of time or the other, in their lives. However, there are innumerable remedies and solutions that are available with prompt help. Reaching out to a sex therapist or a doctor for advice helps in acquiring some useful tricks and tips to resolve painful sex issues and this is instrumental in getting back the feelings of love and for infusing pleasure in sex.

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