According to Brian Acacio MD writing in eMedicine, “Recent studies suggest that more than 60% of women report current or previous episodes of pain during sexual relations. Fewer than half of these women discussed this pain with their doctors. Pain during intercourse is one of the most common causes of problems in sexual relationships. It can be caused by:
Inflammation at the vulvar opening
Painful spasms of the vagina that prevent intercourse
The result of past sexual abuse.”
So what can we do to help ourselves? Dr. Acacio recommends:
“Apply lubricating gels to the outer sexual organs, including the vulva and labia, and in the vagina
The use of sex toys, such as vibrators to see if these relax the areas before penetrates the vagina.”
When I researched this topic I also found the following ideas:
See a gynecological physical therapist. Yes, a physical therapist can be very helpful. They will examine you to see if the uterus has tipped or if the vaginal muscles spasm upon entry. These conditions can be helped significantly with physical therapy such as internal stretching and exercises.
Get vaginal estrogen. This is a prescription item but your gynecologist or regular doctor can give it to you. This type of estrogen is applied to the vagina and gives some women enough estrogen to make intercourse easy.
If you’ve had sexual abuse of any type, find a counselor who specializes in sexual abuse. It could be the pain is caused by post traumatic stress syndrome. Many times women feel their past experiences can be simply be left behind with a, “That was then, this is now” attitude. But sexual trauma never goes away on its own. Life for all of us would be far easier if that were the case for any deep trauma. But it’s not and we’re far better served to find a way to process the trauma than to bury it.
Prevention is always better than treatment. Maybe the pain is an easy fix. Here are some ideas. Stop using the following:
Vaginal perfumes or deodorants.
Scented or tinted toilet papers
Always wear cotton undies
Sex is meant to be a pleasure and life giving experience. If you’re experiencing pain with intercourse there’s help and it would be a shame to not avail ourselves of every possible solution.