Q. I am a 28-year-old woman, sexually active with a 30-year-old man for the past year. I haven't had sex before this. While we have a really good relationship and he is even amazing on bed, I can't help but wonder why does it hurt when I have sex with him? Initially, I thought it was the first time I had penetrative sex and that is why it hurts so much, but it doesn't seem to stop. Each time I have sex, it hurts and because of that, I am not able to enjoy it. Everything stays fine, in fact, amazing till we are on the foreplay part, but as soon as we get into the intercourse part, it begins to hurt bad. I don't want this to hinder our otherwise very beautiful relationship. What are the possible reasons that sexual intercourse gives me pain? Sex Query of the Week: What Are the Best Sex Positions for Men with Small Penis Sizes?
Ans. The reason behind you experiencing pain during sexual intercourse could be many and not necessarily physical. Yes, even psychological health issues could be the cause behind you experiencing the pain.
Here are some of the reasons you could be experiencing pain during sexual intercourse:
Childbirth: Sometimes, tears or episiotomy done during giving birth to a child may later result in pain during sex. The tear the perineum during childbirth, if not healed well may hurt you later, especially while having sex.
Skin conditions: Diseases such as contact dermatitis may cause pain during sex. Skin issues may cause inflammation, ulcers or cracks on the vulva and that in turn may turn while intercourse. Inflammation caused by substances such as scented soaps and washes, lubricants or douching may also be the cause.
Vulvodynia: This disorder causes pain in and around the vulva. It is also known as vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS) depending on the area of the vulva it has affected. Some people even need to opt for medication or surgery depending on the intensity.
Hormonal Changes: Some times decreasing levels of the female hormone estrogen may cause vaginal dryness and therefore cause pain during sex.
Vaginitis: Usually caused because of yeast or bacterial infection, this disorder may lead to pain while having sex. Contact a gynaecologist if you suffer from extreme itching and irritation around your vaginal area.
Vaginismus: A reflex contraction disorder wherein your vaginal opening tightens as a reflex action and then may cause pain while having intercourse due to the inflammation caused. Vaginismus is common and can be overcome by different forms of therapy.
Lubrication: One of the most common causes of pain during sex is a lack of lubrication. Not enough foreplay may be to blame or sometimes a drop in estrogen.
Congenital abnormality: Some women who may not be born with a fully formed vagina may experience pain. Vaginal agenesis or development of a membrane that blocks the vaginal opening aka imperforate hymen may cause dyspareunia (painful intercourse.)
Psychological issues: A lot of times it is your brain that may cause contractions in your vagina. Anxiety, depression, stress, fear of intimacy or other psychological blockages may cause your pelvic floor muscles to tighten and cause pain during intercourse.
History of sexual abuse: Abuse may be another reason that you may be experiencing pain during sexual intercourse. Not always but sometimes the lasting effects of abuse may cause your pelvic floor muscles to not open properly.
What is Dyspareunia? (Painful Intercourse)
The causes differ among people based on their anatomy and genes, you might want to visit a sex expert to get the appropriate reason for you. Sometimes issues such as, pelvic inflammatory disease, adhesion, endometriosis, etc. may cause discomfort during sex.
(This article is written for informative purposes and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)