Painful to have Sex - Here's What you Might Have

  • 2 min read

For many people, sex is always pleasurable. But that isn't the case for everyone. Some people experience painful vaginal penetration, often known as its medical name dyspareunia. Keep reading to discover the causes and possible solutions for painful sex.

1. Not Enough Lubrication

Painful sex can simply be caused by a lack of lubrication, which is one of the easier things to fix. First, you can spend more time warming up to get aroused. Sexting, foreplay, reading erotica, and other activities can all get your motor running.

Still, natural lubrication levels vary. Even if you're fully aroused, you might find yourself in need of a little help. Fortunately, personal lubricants are just the thing! You can pick from various formulas, thicknesses, sensations, and even flavors to make things more slippery and exciting. Plus, lube is great for those whose medical conditions or medications make it hard to become sufficiently wet.

2. Imperforate Hymen

Another cause of pain and potentially bleeding during sex is an imperforate hymen. Contrary to popular belief, the hymen is an elastic tissue around the vaginal opening. It should stretch to accommodate penises, sex toys, and even tampons. However, if your hymen naturally covers more--or all--of the entrance to your vagina, you might struggle with these things. Fortunately, a simple surgery can correct this issue and get you on the road to pain-free sex!

3. Vaginismus

Painful sex may require a bit more to resolve, however. Take vaginismus, for example. If you have this condition, muscle contractions make penetration difficult or even impossible. Those who have never been able to have vaginal sex comfortably have primary vaginismus, while those who develop pain later have secondary vaginismus.

Causes of vaginismus include physical events such as infections and childbirth. But psychological trauma and anxiety stemming from the stigma around sex and poor sex education are also major contributors to this condition. Because of this, treatment for vaginismus often involves sex therapy to combat fearful and negative attitudes about sex.

Physical interventions for vaginismus include using vaginal dilators. These devices are small cylinders with rounded ends that can relax and stretch the vaginal muscles, ultimately letting you experience penetration more comfortably. You start by using the smallest dilator per your doctor's instructions before moving through a series of progressively larger dilators.

Finally, physical therapy from a licensed provider can help get you used to safe and comfortable touching. You'll usually learn similar practices to do it yourself, too. Typically, you'll start by touching your vulva before progressing to vaginal penetration.

If adding lubedoesn't improve painful sex, you definitely want to talk to your doctor about potential causes and solutions that allow you to have pain-free sex and use menstrual products, too.

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