For the past two months, I’ve been experiencing pains during sex, specifically during penetration. I’m 26 years old and have been sexually active for the past five years. Before this, I’ve never experienced pains during sex.
The pain can range from a mere discomfort to pretty intense pains. It’s at my vaginal opening, during penetration, and directly after sex as well. Sometimes if it doesn’t hurt that much and we continue, the pain sometimes entirely goes away. Other times it just continues in milder forms, or more intense.
We agree, sex should be about the pleasure not the pain. If the pain is at your vaginal opening at the time of insertion, it is likely related to either the skin at the vaginal opening or the muscles located beneath the skin. Conditions affecting the skin may include small cuts caused by dryness and friction or certain infections like yeast, bacterial vaginosis, or herpes. These conditions are easily remedied with over-the-counter products or a quick trip to your doctor.
If it isn’t the skin at the vaginal opening that is the problem, it may be a condition called vaginismus, a big word that essentially means uncontrollable spasm of the muscles in the vagina. This can be a brand new problem or a lifelong problem, and there are many different causes. The treatment, believe it or not, is exercise for the vagina! Yup, you can do strengthening exercises (called Kegels) that increase control of these muscles. If you aren’t down with doing them on your own, there are actually professionals (usually physical therapists) that are trained to deal with this exact problem.
So if you want to put the pleasure back in your sex life, here are a few suggestions:
- Practice lots of foreplay. Anything that relaxes those muscles and makes you wet is a plus!
- Start using a lubricant. An over-the-counter lube from the drug store will work just fine. Make sure it is water-based if you are using latex condoms!
- Experiment with different positions. Figure out if some positions are less painful than others.
And of course, there is never a substitute for a professional opinion. The sooner you get yourself to a gynecologist, the sooner they can check you out, find the problem, and solve it!
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