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Sex should be one of most enjoyable things there is - a pure pleasure of body and mind.Unfortunately, for some, sexual intercourse brings pain. Typically, painful sex is an issue of women, but some men can also be familiar the less-pleasant side of intercourse. Painful sex is distressing and scale of the problem might be such that it destroys an otherwise healthy and enjoyable relationship. Painful intercourse is definitely something to deal with. Fortunately, most cases are caused by lack of preparation for the penetration, which can be solved through prolonged foreplay, which helps woman to relax, promotes natural lubrication, and use of sex lubricants.

Should I seek help if I have painful sex?

Occasional, scarce painful moments during sex are unimportant. But if you feel pain during sex all the time, it would be a good idea to seek expert's advice. It might be wiser to seek help at a family planning clinic than at your general practitioner or family doctor, as chances are that the first have much more experience in dealing with painful intercourse than the latter.


The word dyspareunia means 'painful intercourse'. Reasons for dyspareunia are various, but there is typically an emotional factor involved.

First, you might be in a positive feed-back. If you have experienced pain the last time, you might be subconsciously "bracing for impact" prior to initial penetration, and tighten up your vagina. Such entry is very likely going to be a painful one.

Common cause of painful intercourse is vaginismus. It is a term for spasm of vaginal muscles, which causes pain both on the surface and deep inside. Typical underlying cause of vaginismus is fear of being hurt. Such fear may come from bad upbringing (in example, when the woman was taught that sex is something bad, or that it is always painful, or has a history of rape and child abuse). Women might just feel uneasy with their partner and might even be unaware of that.

Vaginismus is sometimes so troublesome that it renders penetrative sex and vaginal examinations impossible. Still, although in such cases full sex is not a probability, enjoyment in love play and closeness is not hampered in any way.

Other causes

Other problems that are related to painful intercourse include vaginal infections, pain caused by penis hitting on the infected and therefore sensitive cervix, disorders in the womb such as fibroids and endometriosis, ovary cysts, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb), and inflammations caused by Chlamydia.

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