You and your partner are getting ready to get intimate, excited for a pleasurable and satisfying time with one another. Except once you begin having sex, something doesn’t feel right. You’re not feeling good like you’re supposed to. Instead, sex has become uncomfortable and even painful in some cases.
For many women, uncomfortable or painful sex is actually a pretty common occurrence. From mild discomfort to sharp pain, there are a variety of levels of discomfort as a result of many different reasons. Not only does it ruin the mood for you and your partner, but it can affect your entire relationship.
Rather than grinning and bearing with the pain during sex or resigning to a sex-free life, remember that just because uncomfortable sex is not uncommon doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Try to identify the possible cause so you can fix it and ultimately improve both your sex life and relationship.
Here are the most common reasons you might experience uncomfortable sex.
1. Vaginal infections
Vaginal infections can cause painful symptoms, such as swelling, burning, and itching, which can make sex difficult. Infections such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and STIs are extremely common, yet they can make sex almost unbearable, as they host a variety of unpleasant side effects.
With some of these infections, having sex can also cause you to infect your partner as well. The good news is that these infections are treatable, so seeing a doctor and taking antibiotics may be all you need to get back into the bedroom painlessly.
2. Vaginal dryness
Whether it’s lack of lubrication or something else causing it, vaginal dryness can make sex with penetration painful when your vagina doesn’t produce enough of that slippery sensation. In most cases, lubrication can be an effective solution. If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, you may feel a dry, tearing sensation when your partner is trying to penetrate.
If lubricants still aren’t doing the job, sometimes long-acting vaginal moisturizers can help by mimicking the body’s natural lubrication. Menopause can also cause vaginal dryness, so if you’re going through menopause it might be a good idea to try some moisturizers or extra lube.
3. Vaginal irritation
The skin in the vaginal area can often become irritated, either by pimples or ingrown hair, which can cause painful sensations when rubbing up against these bumps during intercourse. Activities such as using soaps, vaginal sprays, and douches can easily irritate the vulva area and cause irritation and inflammation.
Keep this area clean and dry without rubbing or further irritating it and the irritation should go away on its own.
4. Difficulty getting aroused
Women typically take longer than men to get aroused and ready for sexual intercourse, but this is an important factor in avoiding sex that can be painful and uncomfortable. It’s important to heighten your arousal before penetration to help induce the natural blood flow to the genitals, which will increase lubrication and make sex more pleasurable for you.
Ease yourself into it by engaging in foreplay, such as kissing and other sexual activities, or watching porn in order to get you excited. This can make the transition into penetrative sex easy, painless, and more pleasurable altogether.
It’s important to spend some time relaxing before getting busy in the bedroom with your partner, since unwanted tension in the body can make sex unpleasant. Try giving each other massages to release some of that tension in order to make sex a more pleasurable experience for both you and your partner.
6. Psychological issues
Similarly, many women deal with emotional and psychological issues that can make sex difficult. Since sex is an emotional experience for everyone, women who experience feelings of anxiety, guilt, or any negative emotional responses can have a hard time opening up and becoming aroused enough for a pleasurable experience.
Communicating with your partner about these issues is important in setting up a comfortable environment in order to make sex less of a burden and more of a fun and exciting experience.
7. He might just be too big
It’s plausible that the reason for uncomfortable sex could lay in the size of his genitals. If your partner is sporting a fairly large penis and you tend to be on the smaller side, penetration can be a little more difficult and painful than usual. In most cases, a little bit of lube can help make it a smoother transition, or even trying different positions can help you gain more control over the level of penetrative intercourse occurring.
8. Underlying health issues
In some cases, underlying diseases may be the cause of painful sex. Pelvic inflammatory disease, for instance, is a common condition in which the pelvic tissue becomes deeply inflamed, resulting in painful sex as a result of the pressure.
Similarly, experiencing pelvic throbbing or cramping during sex can be an indicator of endometriosis, which is a disorder in which the uterine lining tissue grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis often causes heavy periods and deep, throbbing pain, and can make sexual intercourse especially painful.
Whatever the reason may be for uncomfortable sex, it’s important to rule out possible serious health concerns first by going to a doctor if the problem persists. Even simply getting infections treated can help relieve some of the uncomfortable pain of intercourse that stems from various conditions.