Why Do I Feel Pain during Sex?

Sex is meant to be pleasurable, but there are times where it can be painful and this is definitely not normal.

There are a couple of conditions that can cause pain during sex,

P term for this is called “Dyspareunia” (pronounced di.spuh.roo.nee.uh). The pain could either be superficial or deep.

When the Pain is superficial

The pain is usually felt around the opening of the vagina or the vulva.


What Causes It:

  • Vaginal dryness – from insufficient foreplay, increased age, breastfeeding.
  • Infections in the genital area, vagina or glands surrounding the vagina e.g genital herpes
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Injury to the genital area
  • Radiation
  • Allergic reaction to latex condoms
  • Certain vaginal defects which some women are born with
  • Vaginal surgeries


When the pain is deep:

Pain is usually felt deep within the pelvis usually during thrusting.



  • Infections in the pelvic organs
  • Endometriosis
  • Tumours in the pelvis
  • Scar tissue in pelvic organs from previous surgeries, poorly treated infections etc
  • Fibroids


How Do I treat?


  • Use of water based lubricants to reduce vaginal dryness. Avoid oil based lubricants as they tend to further dry the vagina and can damage latex condoms.
  • Spend more time during foreplay to increase the production of natural lubricants
  • Change in position during intercourse especially for deep pain


More specific treatments will depend on the cause of the pain.


Because pain, in general, is greatly affected by emotions, certain things can increase a woman’s perception of painful sex.

For example, a traumatic sexual experience such as rape or fear of pregnancy can make a slight discomfort feel like severe pain.

However, one should always review her symptoms with a doctor especially if persistent.


This was written by Dr Ifunanya, great lady! Follow her here

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