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Pain After Sex – Common Causes

pain after intercourseRoughly 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. I’d recommend trying Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer during the dry times in your cycle.

Having sex with a dry vagina (without using artificial lubricants) can be uncomfortable and make sex really painful. 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.

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Ranu May 24, 2018, 10:32 pm

    I had sex for the first time recently. I feeling pain in my vagina like something stretching. What should I do?

  • Lisa April 22, 2018, 7:08 pm

    Hi Nguyen,
    I had sex recently with my boyfriend after not seeing him for a month and for the first time I expirenced a burning sensation after could be an allergy to the latex? Any idea what else it could have been caused by. Thank you.

  • Hailee April 18, 2018, 7:03 pm

    I need help
    Im 28 and i want to have a baby.. my last menstration March 24 and ive got unprotected sex last april 3,10 and 18.. is it possible to get pregnant? I have swollen and large breast now. Thanks

  • Monica December 18, 2017, 5:11 am

    Dear sir or Mandan I am pregnant and when I am having sex with my husband I fill pain in my private parts . So what can I do ,and I also have discharge like cottage cheese

  • Jimmy wangmo February 20, 2017, 9:09 pm

    I always suffer from UTI after sex.if I don’t do sex that I don’t suffer from UTI.It’s very unpleasant .i deny husband urge for the sex.

  • Ashey January 1, 2017, 8:44 pm

    Hi there …
    iv lately been having pain after having intercourse with my husband, i feel i could be pregnent but have upto 2 n half weeks for my periods(dont know if thats normal) the pain i have is in my abdomen n i have it after iv cleaned my self n gotten back into bed after incourse … has happend three to four times now and it lasts for upto a few hours untill i sleep ( no pain when i wake up or the day after) .. can you help ?

  • brindarani bala December 7, 2016, 1:56 am

    my ovary paining too much what can i do?? rply me in my email plzzz.. first…

  • mrs nna December 5, 2016, 9:26 am

    After having Sex with my husband the next day my vaginal hurts so much especially when I urinate the pains becomes severe though i take poster as a contraceptive .Pls what could be the course and what should I do? Thanks

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  • Ash October 22, 2016, 12:55 am

    Hi, I hv been suffering from pain during sex and after one day in my abdomen and vaging with burning stinging when I pee, for last 5 years since I got married. Ocassionly it’s bacterial vaginitis but mostly it’s either thrush or any unknown reason…..it has affected my normal life a lot .I hv gone to many doctors but thy don’t bother thy just tell me to hv painkiller n water….I hv tried herbal n homeopathic medcn aswell n cranberries etc…but nthng works….I hv polycystic ovaries syndrome may be it’s bcz of tht! can u help me in this please?

    Please don’t tell me things like pee before n after sex drink water tk vit c wear loose clothing etc cz I hv done allllllll of this!

  • Bstone September 1, 2016, 3:56 pm

    I’m 31 weeks pregnant and having sex is really uncomfortable. It feels like the pain is caused from how my cervix is shifting to get ready for birth but I’m not sure. I’m experiencing just a lot of vaginal burning and that “no entry” tightness theres no itching I do have lube available but I’m rarely ever dry. I’ve only had sex with one guy I’m my entire life. I’m hoping its nothing serious though. Any thought to what could be the problem

  • Hib nobi August 27, 2016, 1:35 pm

    Hi… I had sex with my partner last week. ..I got out of my natural lubricant and we went on with the sex after that too..Now even after a week I feel severe pain within the vagina whenever I piss out.. I am worried

  • Murali July 24, 2016, 10:29 pm

    Burns her during the sex n pinches n pains often after.

  • Murali July 24, 2016, 10:25 pm

    My wife has yeast infection. Please suggest the remedy.

  • Hannah May 30, 2016, 1:00 pm

    I had my period 4 days ago, my partner and I have had Sex everyday since I got off my period and now I’m bleeding again as if it’s another period. We don’t use protection as he’s allergic to all condoms (including the latex free ones) and when ever he even goes to insert into me it burns and after we have sex it burns. Both him and I have recently gotten tested for Sti’s and we both had nothing. Him and I have been having sex for the last –
    5-6minths now and it’s only started recently

    • MeL July 13, 2016, 1:50 pm

      Hey you I suggest you go back to the doctor as u may have a yeast infection

  • luckes May 16, 2016, 12:20 pm

    i allways feel pains after having sex sometimes when i am sperming

    • MeL July 13, 2016, 1:51 pm

      You should consider going doctors for a std check up

  • Laki December 26, 2015, 10:50 am

    What about a burning sensation below the navel during the 12th week of pregnancy that lasts for hours after sex? Also it isn’t due to infection of any kind as I get screened often.

  • nompilo December 7, 2015, 1:42 pm

    I hv used injection for two months and it been two months I have not used it because I said I wanted to have a child well I did nothing to free my falopian tube, so wht must I do cause it now four months not having periods, well the pregnancy test ,tested negative.

  • jean October 29, 2015, 4:24 am

    I’m only having pains after sex what can be the problem

  • gee July 2, 2015, 6:31 am

    hi, i have got uti’s during ny childhood n was treated for ovarian cysts (2years ago.) now somedays after my first intercourse i got uti n medicated. since few weeks, again my pee after intercourse is burning. its sometimes irritating(not always.)
    during wash, if i apply soap it burns like anything n it continues for hours. also i m unable to control my pee like i used to. if it continues how can i get procceed. is pregnancy difficult for me. i m worried!

  • adeyanju toyin June 3, 2014, 4:10 am

    If am experience abdominal pain after two days of intercourse,what could be the cause & solution.is it endometri0sis

  • rebecca March 16, 2012, 6:21 am

    i missed ma periods last month- feb 2012, took a home and clinic test three days ago and both were negative, am not on contraceptives, am worried please tell me what could be wrong, am planning on seeing a gynaecologist next week, but am really worried, please advise. however i used to take morning pills like three years ago which i stopped cos irregularity of my periods, was given some medicine by the gynae to stabilise them, which they did, but now confused as to why i missed for last month yet they had become regular again, please advise.
    thank you.

  • Irin Chong March 14, 2012, 3:49 am

    Hi ,
    I am 12days late with my period. Have been check with pregnacy test kit is show negative.
    My last period is one 3rd Feb 2012. Please kindly advise me .

    • DP Nguyen March 14, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Go see your doctor and get a blood pregnancy test. Good luck

  • Nicole February 25, 2012, 12:11 pm

    I am three days late with my period. My husband has had a visectomie so I’m sure it’s nit pregnancy. I have been working out but that’s not unusual. I work out everyday for a good hour and a half. Been doing it for a good year. If you have any advice please let me
    Know thanks.

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