Not many women talk about it, but approximately 30% of women experience pain during sex. And no, it is not the desired, bitter-sweet variety some of us may ask for sometimes. It is the surprising, mood-killing, unwanted and unexpected kind. If it persists, it can have really bad consequences – instilling a fear or aversion of sex, which lowers the sex drive and pushes the woman to avoid intimacy. It is for this reason that we’re taking a look at the possible causes of pain during sex and the possible solutions for it.
#1. Jumping the gun
Women, due to the role they play and their biological structure, take longer than men to reach full arousal. A woman needs to sink into the “action”, and she will only be able to do that if her partner offers her the right stimuli, the ones that work for her.
For that to happen, knowing yourself and communicating your desires is key. You need to explore and be explored, to pay attention to how you sense various actions, to figure out what electrifies you, what melts you and what repulses you. You also need to be able to communicate all this knowledge to your partner, so they know what to do to bring you into that desired state of bliss.
#2. Lack of lubrication
Menopause and some types of medication may lead to a lack of vaginal lubrication (allergy pills or low hormone dose birth control pills). But, in general, remember that, without foreplay, without getting the brain excited, the body has difficulty getting excited. And even when the brain is already excited, it can take up to 10 minutes for the vagina to get properly lubricated for intercourse.
There are two solutions for this: either you take the time and patience to teach your partner how to play you like a fiddle, or you keep some (preferably water-based) lube close by, not to have to search for it in the heat of the moment, and ruin the mood by doing so.
#3. Stress and tension
This is almost self-explanatory. If you are not relaxed enough, never in a million years will you be able to have satisfactory sex. It’s as simple as that. When your mind is racing, don’t expect it to focus on the one thing you should be focusing on – pleasure. So, depending on what works for you, you can ask your partner to give you a sensual massage (which can double as foreplay if you use some scented oils and light some scented candles), or take a relaxing bubble bath (together), or meditate for a bit.
#4. It’s a tight squeeze
In some cases, the size and shape differences between the partners’ genitalia can be the main cause of the pain. If girth is an issue, the only way to deal with it is a lot of lube and a lot of foreplay, maybe even some oral sex beforehand. If length is an issue, it can be solved by choosing positions where the penetration is limited, so the penis does not hit the cervix.
The most important thing, in this case too, is good communication. Your partner might not be aware or, in the heat of the moment, they might not realize that they are causing you pain. You need to let them know what the problem is and find a solution together. Do not despair, and do not give up. Figure it out together, and all will be fine.
#5. Genital infections
If a genital infection is present, no matter what type, the vagina and/or the vulva can be inflamed, thus leading to pain during sexual activity. If you are unaware of having a genital infection, and pain appears during sex, you should see a doctor for some tests. If needed, get the appropriate treatment.
The presence of uterus lining outside the uterus, connected to other neighboring organs like the bladder, the fallopian tubes or the ovaries, can cause some pretty atrocious pain during sexual intercourse. Endometriosis usually runs in families (it propagates through our DNA) and mandates a visit to the doctor.
#7. Irritable bowel syndrome
Given its characteristics, IBS can also make sex painful. The only way to make the pain during sex go away is to learn how to control your IBS.
#8. The change
Less lubrication during menopause is not the only symptom you should be aware of. During menopause, some areas of your genitalia become more sensitive than before, so the same amount of force applied in those areas will feel much stronger. Therefore, if the nerve impulses are strong enough, you will feel them as pain. By learning about the changes that menopause brings and discussing them with your doctor, you can find a way to mitigate the negative effects.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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