10 Reasons Why Sex Can Be Painful

why sex hurts

There are so many ways for us to describe sex: exciting, thrilling, empowering, spine-tingling, sexy — notice how we didn’t mention “painful” or “stinging.” You get the point. Sex should always feel pleasurable.

But if you’re experiencing discomfort in your nether regions, abandon ship until you figure out what is going on down there. To suss out your potential hangups, we spoke to sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., and Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. (and author of A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Health) to save your vagina and your sex life. Here, all your problems explained — and how to fix them.

You’re not lubricated enough.

Even though your vagina is a natural self-lubricator, if you’re not turned on enough or boozed too much at the bar, you could suffer from dryness. Just use lube, or for chronic issues, a vaginal moisturizer like Replens.

You’re allergic to your sex toys or products.

While we’re on the topic, you can’t just go to the drugstore and buy the cheapest thing on the shelf. Lubricants are made with different chemicals, which can throw off your vagina’s pH balance — the same goes for products like latex condoms. If you feel any sort of irritation after use, try to stick to natural-based stuff  and see how that fares with your body.

You have ingrown hairs.

Sometimes a botched bikini wax can leave you with unpleasant pimples, which can be painful when there’s friction. Not much you can really do — except load up on a skin-soothing serum and wait it out.

You’re using the wrong positions.

It’s always good to experiment and deviate from your go-to routine, but certain positions might not be for everyone. Keep in mind that a guy’s curvature can make your go-to moves feel a little off from time to time.

You have a sexual dysfunction.

Yes, though it’s not often talked about, some women experience a disorder known asvaginismus — where the vaginal muscles involuntarily spasm during sex and make penetration painful. Shooting pain during sex can also be attributed to hyperactive nerve fibers around the vulva, aka vulvodynia. Thankfully, there’s good therapy available for both, through the use of dilators or pain-blocking medications.

Your partner is too big.

No guy is ever too large to wear a condom. Period. But when it comes to penetration, you may need to be “loosened” up by trying simple sex moves first — think missionary — or turning yourself on more (hello, foreplay!).

You just gave birth.

First off, if your libido can bounce back right away after childbirth, go you. But caution: Since your vagina just underwent major trauma it’ll take your body some time to get back to its former glory. Some doctors suggest a four to six week window after childbirth as a good time frame to get your groove back, but it all depends on your body.

You have an STD/STI/pelvic disease.

Yeast infections are no fun. Fibroids on your uterus and pelvic inflammatory disease are also no fun. Know who you’re sleeping with and get tested regularly if you’re not in a monogamous relationship, but also take comfort in knowing there are plenty of oral and vaginal medications that can treat those. Also, be sure to visit your gynecologist regularly for check ups.

You haven’t had sex in a long time.

Sex slump, dry spell, whatever you want to call it, the struggle’s real. We’re not saying you should jot down sex in your weekly planner, but just know it’s totally normal for it to hurt if you haven’t done it since Game of Thrones season 1.

You jump right into sex.

Forget every Lifetime/Nicholas Sparks/Fifty Shades of Grey sex scene you’ve seen. Diving head first (interpret as you wish) into sex can create unnecessary friction between your vagina and his manhood. Take a cue from a wise tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race.

From: Marie Claire

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