Pain during sex is a lot more common than most people would think. About 30 per cent of women had reported experiencing pain during their last sexual encounter, according to the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health. However, just because it is common that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.
“Pain during sex not only ruins the moment, it can have much greater consequences: fear of sex, lowered sex drive, and overall loss of intimacy,” warns Debra Herbenick, PhD, a sexual health researcher at Indiana University in Bloomington. She explains that pain is your body’s way of signalling that something is wrong. Here are some of the top reasons why getting between the sheets with your partner is hurting you, according to prevention.com.
The belief that women require more foreplay could stem from the fact that they typically are slower to get aroused than men. Foreplay could mean anything from kissing and touching to even oral stimulation. Arousal is important because it starts the process of blood flowing to the genitals that eventually increases lubrication.
Lack of lubrication
Even if you are absolutely eager to make love to your partner, penetration can be painful if you are not adequately lubricated. Vaginal tissues can fail to get sufficiently lubricated even five to seven minutes after you set your brain to do the deed. Interestingly, ordinary activities like warm showers and baths can dry vaginal secretions. “Allergy pills have the same effect on vaginal tissues as they do on other mucus membranes, and low-dose hormonal birth control pills can also dry you out,” adds Herbenick.
Sex can be rendered uncomfortable by a number of genital infections like genital herpes, trichomoniasis, and yeast infections to name a few. Sometimes, women themselves may not even be aware of their infections and can feel pain because of small changes in their vulva or vagina.
Endometriosis is a medical condition that occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus starts to grow in other areas. Around 7 per cent of women are said to be affected by it. “It can lead to pain with intercourse and vaginal penetration, and can be really intolerable,” says Sexual health expert Dennis Fortenberry.