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Pain in women during intercourse

Pain during intercourse happens a lot among women causing discomfort and stopping them to enjoy and reach orgasm. The usual location of pain is vaginal, labial or pelvic area.

It is estimated that more than 60% of women had pain once or more time during sexual intercourse but they did not talk about this with their gynecologists.

Pain can happen due to numerous reasons such as sexually transmitted diseases, stiffness because a woman is not sure if she wants to have sex with this partner, change of partner etc. Pain during sexual intercourse can result in fights among couples and sometimes even break up or divorce.

Pain usually occurs at the very beginning of a penetration. Not rarely pain can be felt during intercourse (deep pain) or after it. Pain can be dull or sharp. A woman can have cramps, muscle spasms or tightness.

Pain can be divided into primary and secondary. The first one has existed during a woman’s whole lifetime, and the secondary one happens from time to time.

Another division is the whole pain and situational pain. The first type can be described as constant pain during whole sexual intercourse and the second one happens only with a particular partner or in a certain pose.

There are two types of pain according to location of pain. Superficial-entrance pain occurs soon after a man penetrates into woman. Another one is deep thrust pain which is actually pain in the cervix or/and in the lower abdominal zone. Deep thrust pain happens during or after sexual intercourse.

Sometimes the reason for pain is some kind of condition such as cyst in ovaries, fungal or bacterial infection of vagina etc. However, it can happen that a woman is completely physically healthy but experiences pain due to emotional and mental factors.

If experiencing pain during sex, couples can start using lubricating gels and thus ease the penetration. They can try having gentler sexual intercourse or can use sex toys. Sex dilator can also be used but prior consult with gynecologist is needed.

Pain because of  thinning of the vaginal walls (Atrophy) can occur due to women's menopause. In such situations women can apply topical estrogen vaginal cream in the opening of vagina and ease the pain.

Urethral syndrome happens when a woman has constant urge to urinate but there is no infection. This can happen because of chronic inflammation of the urethra, muscle spasms, anxiety or low estrogen levels. Treating options are dilating the urethra, taking low-dose antibiotics, antidepressants or antispasmodics.

Pain can happen because of the inadequate lubrication. In such cases couples can use water-soluble lubricants (safe with condoms), vegetable oils, different cremes etc. Longer foreplay is also a good option.

Vaginismus which is a spasm of the muscles that occurs soon after a man enters the vagina can be caused by painful or violent penetration, earlier painful intercourse, previous abuse, or issues connected with sexuality. Treatment options are behavior therapy, vaginal relaxation exercises and so on.

Vaginal strictures can be one more reason for pain during intercourse. These can be consequence of pelvic surgery, radiation or menopause and doctors recommend passive dilation or estrogen pills in such cases.

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder inflammation and another cause for painful intercourse. You need to visit your doctor if suffering from this.

Endometriosis and Vulvovaginitis can also cause pain during sex. In both cases a visit to the doctor is a must. Sometimes doctors need to treat both partners.

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