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Why Is Intercourse Painful For Me?

Painful intercourse (also called dyspareunia) can put a strain on couple’s sexual relationship. In a 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 30% of women reported having pain during their last sexual encounter. However, just because it is common does not mean it is necessarily okay. Fortunately, most causes of dyspareunia can easily be treated.

Causes of Painful Intercourse in Women

  • Many cases of painful intercourse are caused by insufficient vaginal lubrication. It is a very common during menopause as the vaginal lining can lose moisture and become dry. This can easily be resolved when the female is more relaxed, foreplay is increased, or by using sexual lubricant.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, including genital warts, herpes sores and other STDs can obviously spread during intercourse but also causes changes in the genitals that make sex uncomfortable or painful.
  • Injuries to the vulva or vagina may result in painful intercourse. Injuries may include a tear from childbirth (or episiotomy), injuries from inserting or removing contraception devices or menstrual aides.
  • Vaginismus is a common condition. It includes involuntary spasms of the vaginal muscle, sometimes caused by the mere fear of injury.
  • Problems with ovaries, such as ovarian cysts or even just ovulation may cause pain.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) causes tissues deep inside to become severely inflamed. The pressure during intercourse can sometimes cause severe pain.
  • Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus which can make sex really intolerable.
  • Uterine fibroids are small noncancerous tumors that grow around or within the uterus.
  • Other causes include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), stress, vaginal infections or muscle strains.

If you think you are experiencing any of these issues, our OB/GYN office can help. Call (508) 765-5981 for an appointment.

The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, call a doctor or 911 immediately.

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