8 causes of pain during and after sex

Sex should give you pleasure not pain yet pain during and after sex is quite common. Pain during or after sex is also known as dyspareunia.

Painful sex may lessen the pleasure you feel from sex and may make you avoid it completely. But what causes pain during and after sex?

Here are some potential causes:

1. STIs

Many sexually transmitted infections can cause discomfort during sex to both men and women. This is why you and your partner should get frequent STI screenings or testing. Pay attention to your body and know when something is painful, uncomfortable, or out of the ordinary.

2. Sex Position

Some sexual postures provide deeper penetration during vaginal intercourse, which may cause pain in some people. The easiest approach to avoid this is to constantly sit in a comfortable position. Positions, where you can regulate the depth of penetration, can also be beneficial.

3. Endometriosis

Women, your pelvis, back, and stomach may hurt when having sex if your endometrial tissue has overgrown. Endometriosis can be diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner.

4. Ovarian cysts

These are pockets of fluid that form within or on the outside of your ovaries. A bigger cyst may cause lower abdomen pain even though they are often harmless. The discomfort could get greater during or after intercourse.

5. Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome

It’s best to empty your bladder (urinate) before and after sex, as this might induce pelvic and lower abdominal pain during sex.

6. Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that form in or on the uterus. Pain during or after sex is one of the symptoms of fibroids.

7. Vaginismus

Vaginismus occurs when an object enters the vagina, such as a tampon or a penis, causing the vaginal muscles to contract or spasm. During sex, this might be unpleasant or even painful. There are several causes, but nervousness or a fear of having sex is a frequent one.  To avoid this, it’s important to always feel at ease and to never force sex if you don’t want to since doing so can be painful physically and emotionally.

8. Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness occurs when the vaginal tissues are not properly moisturized or lubricated. This can happen at any age. Pain or discomfort during penetrative vaginal sex, minor bleeding after intercourse, soreness/itching or burning of the vagina, and slight vaginal discharge are all warning signs.

If the vagina is not well lubricated before sex, a woman can experience painful sex. This is often the result of not enough foreplay. The simple solution here is to ensure that the vagina is well lubricated before sex.

Vagina dryness can be caused by certain medications, certain medical conditions, use of hygiene products or practices that affect lubrication, menopause, rigorous exercise, depression, sexual abuse trauma, smoking, etc.

Related: 6 helpful ways to deal with painful sex

Sex shouldn’t hurt, if it hurts that you avoid it or want to quit, it’s time to consult a doctor.

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