Dealing with Painful Intercourse

Sexual intercourse is supposed to feel good. It’s supposed to be something that enhances our life and makes us feel closer to our partner. But for some women, intercourse is painful and something they end up trying to avoid.

Symptoms of Painful Intercourse

  • Pain with penetration. This can even include the insertion of a tampon.
  • Pain as a result of a thrusting motion.
  • A burning or aching sensation.
  • Throbbing pain that can last up to hours after sex.

Painful intercourse happens for a variety of physical and emotional reasons.

Physical Reasons for Painful Intercourse

Pain during penetration is often a result of a lack of lubrication. This can happen when there is a lack of foreplay or the woman has experienced a decrease in her estrogen levels as a result of menopause or right after giving birth.

Painful intercourse can also be a result of an injury or trauma of some sort caused by an accident, scarring from pelvic surgery or episiotomy. Infections and inflammation may also cause pain during sex as can eczema and other skin issues in the genital area.

And finally, certain physical conditions can also cause painful intercourse. These can include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Medical treatments for cancer such as radiation and chemotherapy have also been known to cause women pain during sexual intercourse.

If you believe your painful intercourse stems from a physical condition, it’s important to speak with your doctor to find the right course of treatment.

Emotional factors That Can Lead to Painful Intercourse

For women, emotions can be directly linked to sexual activity. Emotional factors that can lead to painful intercourse include stress, anxiety, depression, or worrying about how you look, relationship problems or a history of sexual abuse.

When painful intercourse is a result of emotional or psychological issues, it is recommended that the woman seek treatment from a sex therapist. A therapist can help uncover where the issue is coming from and offer tools and coping skills to alleviate the negative emotions or residual trauma so that sex can be enjoyable once again.

If you are interested in exploring treatment options, please get in touch with me.

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