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February 17, 2019

When sex hurts

Sex can hurt for a lot of women at some point in their lives. But when pain during intercourse doesn’t go away, it’s time to get things checked out.

Pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse that doesn’t go away with time is called dyspareunia, and it feels different for every woman. For some, sex only hurts during one position or movement, like deep thrusting. Other women find that intercourse with one partner is too painful to bear, while with another lover it’s pure bliss. It’s also possible for a woman to feel pain every time she is penetrated, and even be unable to use a tampon. 

Some causes are purely physical, like an infection or inflammation in the vagina. There are also psychological and emotional reasons like stress, anxiety, a poor body image, or a fear of pain. These can make it hard for a woman to get aroused enough to have sex. So sometimes, painful sex can just be a question of not enough lubrication.

What can you do if you or your partner has painful intercourse? A doctor can help figure out what’s going on. Dyspareunia is treated by examining a woman for physical problems and asking her where and when it hurts. But doctors also treat psychological and relationship issues that are involved. All are super important to healthy and pain-free sex.

The good news is that there are also some tried and true tips that can help. Foreplay’s a great place to begin. The more time you spend getting physical before intercourse, the more aroused a woman will be. During sex, it’s a good idea to switch things up and try different positions since some will be more pleasurable than others. And don’t forget to use lots of lubrication – when it comes to pain-free sex, wetter is definitely better.

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