Roughly two-thirds of all women experience occasional discomfort during or after sexual intercourse. If you have pain after sex every single time, however, it’s something you need to get it checked out and treated. Sex and intimacy should be enjoyed, so it’s important that you figure out the root cause of your pain.
There are a number of potential causes that may contribute to pain after intercourse. Physical reasons, infections, growths, and emotional issues can all cause pain after sex.
Causes of Pain After Sexual Intercourse
1. Vaginal Dryness – When women are aroused, your body naturally lubricates the inside of your vagina to prepare for male penetration. Sometimes, hormonal fluctuations can cause your vaginal dryness. At certain times during your normal menstrual cycle, your vagina may be drier than other times. Over-the-counter lubricants can help make sexual intercourse more comfortable.
Having sex with a dry vagina (without using artificial lubricants) can be uncomfortable, and it may lead to pain after intercourse. Vaginal lubricants, like KY Jelly, can help resolve this issue.
2. Vaginismus – This is a sexual disorder that can make sex very painful. When woman has vaginismus, the muscles surrounding her vagina involuntarily tighten (spasm) in anticipation of penetration. Her body is basically screaming, “No entry!” Vaginismus can be triggered by emotional fear, stress, and anxiety. It can also have a physical cause, including scars in the vagina or infections. Sometimes, it has no cause. There are treatment options for women with this condition, though.
Women with vaginismus have extreme pain during attempted penetrations. You may experience discomfort afterwards as well.
3.Yeast Infections – If you have a common yeast infection, your vagina will be red and inflamed after sex. You’ll also notice a stinging sensation, like your vagina is on fire, after you have intercourse. Having a yeast infection can make sex uncomfortable and even painful.
Telltale signs of a yeast infection include thick, clumpy and white discharge that looks like cottage cheese. You may also have pain or burning when you urinate or during sex. Sometimes, pain during and after sex is the only sign that you have a yeast infection.
4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and herpes, can cause painful intercourse and pain after sex.
If you have Chlamydia, you may notice yellowish vaginal discharge; burning and itching in your vagina; redness, swelling, and soreness in your vulva; abnormal vaginal bleeding; and pain during and after sex.
Painful sex can also be a sign of herpes, since the sores and lesions of herpes can grow inside the vagina or on the cervix. Other symptoms of herpes include vaginal discharge, a feeling of abdominal pressure, itching or burning sensation in your vagina.
5. Urinary Tract Infections – A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common causes of pain after sex. UTIs are not serious and can be easily treated with antibiotics. They are also very common. Over 50 percent of all women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime. Having sex increases the risk of UTIs, since bacteria from your vaginal area can be massaged into your urethra.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a strong urge to pee; pain or burning when you urinate; and pain after having sex.
6. Ovarian Cysts – These are small, benign (non-cancerous) fluid-filled sacs that grow on your ovaries. Many ovarian cysts are harmless, but they can cause pain during and after sex. Ovarian cysts that twist or rupture can cause pain after sex, as well as sudden, severe pain that are accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
7. Uterine Fibroids – Painful sex, as well as discomfort after sex, may be the result of uterine fibroids, which are benign growths that develop inside the uterus. The most common symptom of fibroids is irregular menstrual bleeding. Women with fibroids may bleed between periods and have very heavy periods. Having sex can be uncomfortable or painful with fibroids if the affected fibroid is pushing against the nerves that affect sexual intercourse.
8. Endometriosis – Half of all women who have endometriosis experience intense pain during sex, and discomfort afterwards. Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body. During sex, women with this condition can experience sharp, stabbing pain. This pain can last for up to two days after having sex.
9. Vulvodynia – Some women experience chronic pain around the vulva (the opening of the vagina). This condition is called Vulvodynia. Having sex can be painful, and the discomfort can last after having intercourse. Doctors don’t know what causes this problem, but there are treatment options available.
10.. Friction from Sexual Intercourse – Some women may experience pain after sex due to merely physical reasons. The friction from having sex irritated your vaginal tissues. You may need more lubrication during sex.
Seek Medical Help
If you experience pain after sex, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your partner about what you’re going through, and visit a medical doctor to help you identify the root cause of your discomfort. Do not try to self-diagnose what’s causing your pain. Only a professional can accurately tell you what’s going on and help you.