When Sex Is Painful Or Uncomfortable




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If sex is painful to her, it is certainly not pleasurable. This will make it difficult to engage in regular sexual intercourse which is important to your overall health.


Both physiological and psychological factors can cause uncomfortable sex or painful sex in men and women.


There are a number of conditions that can lead to discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.


(1) Health problems


For men and women, irritation, inflammation, or infection of the genitals can cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. In women, soaps, vaginal sprays and douches can irritate the vulva and lead to uncomfortable sex. Some women are allergic to chemicals in hygiene products, dyes, perfumes, lubricants or to some objects that are placed in the vagina. Conditions such as vaginitis, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause painful sex in women. In men, infections such as prostatitis can make sex painful or uncomfortable.


(2) Psychological factors


Emotions play an important part in both men’s and women’s ability to enjoy sex. In women, fear, guilt, stress, anxiety and the emotional toll of negative sexual experiences can wreak havoc on sexual desire. These can lead to vaginal dryness when normal vaginal lubrication does not occur. When a woman is anxious, there is insufficient blood flow so she will have dryness. In men, the same emotions can lead to pain during sexual intercourse.


(3) Vaginal dryness


Vaginal dryness can result from certain medications (allergy and cold medications), changes in hormones (decrease in estrogen levels during menopause, perimenopause, after childbirth, or during breastfeeding), health conditions (cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation to the pelvis), psychological issues (insufficient arousal) and other conditions (uterus abnormality, a mass in the pelvis, a disease of the bowel or bladder, scar tissue,or cysts on the ovaries).


How To Cope With Uncomfortable Or Painful Sex


(1) Go for a thorough medical checkup


Rather than trying to second guess or making wild guesses about the causes of painful sex, it is better to play safe to see a gynaecologist to ascertain the real causes. Your doctor can go over your medical history and medications to look for possible causes of your discomfort. In some cases, doctors can recommend localized treatments such as vaginal estrogen inserts.


(2) Use lubricants or moisturizers


There are a wide range of lubricants that can help vaginal dryness. They include silicone-based and water-based products. They can add moisture to the vagina and help make sex more comfortable for both partners.


Avoid using oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, mineral oils and massage oils which can damage condoms and put her at higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Some women may be allergic to oil-based lubricants and find them irritating to the skin.


Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers can also be an effective way to minimize vaginal dryness over several days with one application. Moisturizing agents help introduce water into the vaginal tissue.


(3) Discuss with your partner


It is important to talk with your partner about what arouses you and what problems you are facing in sexual intercourse. Sexual excitement causes the secretion of vaginal fluids. An adequate amount of foreplay and vaginal stimulation before intercourse will give the vagina the time and motivation to naturally lubricate itself. You can also experiment with some sex positions (such as the woman-on-top) that can reduce the chances of vaginal tears and abrasions. In some cases, emotional problems (such as past sexual abuses) that are interfering with your sex life can be managed by working with a sex therapy counselor who can help you pinpoint the causes and come up with solutions to make sexual intercourse more comfortable.


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