Pain/Discomfort During Sex

Is it normal for my vagina to hurt during sex? I've noticed that after my menstrual cycle is over and we have intercourse, it hurts inside. My husband has told me on various occasions that he can feel something in there that feels swollen. We've tried all types of lube and switching positions. Unfortunately, nothing has worked for us. The only time the pain seems to disappear is when I'm ovulating. Other than that, the sex doesn't feel so good. I don't want this issue to keep me and my husband from being able to enjoy our sex life?

Painful intercourse, or Dyspareunia, is surprisingly common and only in some cases caused by vaginal dryness. Dealing with painful intercourse is an emotional task and requires open communication and patience between you and your partner. The pain can be in the vagina, clitoris, labia or deeper pelvis during penetration. There are numerous causes of dyspareunia, many of which are treatable.

What Could Be Causing Painful Sex?

Some factors that can be contributing to painful intercourse may include: dryness, Endometrioses, menopause, infections, or problems with the cervix or ovaries.

Dryness - Insufficient vaginal lubrication can cause pain for women during sex. A woman generally takes more time to become aroused and produce natural lubricants. Relaxation is an important part of feeling ready. If dryness is the problem, it's important to communicate to your partner what you find most pleasurable, or you can ease sexual intercourse with lubrication.

Endometriosis - With this condition, uterine tissue grows outside of the uterine lining which may cause some women to feel pain at certain times of the month, usually around the time of the period. If you have endometriosis, avoid very deep penetration or try to have sex at least a week after menstruation. Hormonal methods such as the Mirena IUD are very effective for the treatment of endometriosis in some women. If hormonal methods do not help, a surgical procedure may be required in order to remove growths of tissue on the uterus, but identifying the issue is an important first step.

Problems with the Ovaries or Cervix - Cysts on the ovaries could be causing pain during intercourse, or in certain situations, problems with the cervix can cause pain during deep penetration.

Infections - These conditions are common and include yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted diseases. Infections can contribute to pain and medication may be needed to treat them.

If you do have pain during intercourse, particularly if you are experiencing other symptoms like vaginal discharge, severe menstrual cramps or discomfort with urination, you should see a Doctor to rule out more serious problems.

Preventing and Treating Painful Sex

Remember that finding the root of your pain is based on your symptoms, so it's important to be able to distinguish the pain that is occurring, the location, and duration of the pain so that your doctor can make the proper diagnosis after an examination. However, some causes of painful sex can be prevented by making simple changes in your daily life.

* Shower daily, wear dry clothing, and change underclothes to prevent yeast infections

* Practice good hygiene to prevent bladder infections and wipe from front to back after using the toilet

* Practice safe sex with one partner and use condoms to protect yourself against STD's

* Use a lubricant if you experience vaginal dryness

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