6 Causes of Painful Intercourse & What To Do About It

I don’t know why, however intercourse for me has gotten higher and worse with age. Positive, having an orgasm each single time is a non-negotiable that I’m not afraid to ask for, and I do know what I like and what my physique responds greatest to, however I’ve additionally grow to be extra susceptible to vaginal dryness, post-coital bleeding, and experiencing painful intercourse.

I do know I’m not alone on this sentiment. In spite of everything, about 75% of women will expertise painful intercourse intermittently all through their life. Give it some thought—that’s ¾ of the feminine inhabitants. And regardless of society’s blatant disregard for feminine sexual wellness, our pleasure issues.

Make no mistake: Intercourse is just not purported to be painful. Which is why I tapped somatic sexologist Kiana Reeves for her professional perception on painful intercourse. Forward, Reeves breaks down what precisely painful intercourse is, the 6 most typical culprits of it, and what to do for those who’re experiencing it. Hold scrolling to study extra.

Kiana Reeves

Somatic Sexologist, Pelvic Well being Practitioner, Licensed Doula, and CCO of Foria

Reeves believes intercourse is an important a part of wellbeing and has been working towards within the area of sexual wellness and feminine reproductive well being for over 10 years. Her profession started in delivery work as a full spectrum doula, and her background in pleasure, intimacy and sexuality is knowledgeable by her work as a licensed somatic intercourse educator, providing shoppers hands-on experiences to attach with their our bodies and pleasure.


What precisely is painful intercourse?

First issues first: There are completely different sorts of ache. In accordance with Reeves, some ache can really really feel good, pleasurable, and arousing, relying in your erotic preferences. Nonetheless, sure varieties of ache—particularly vaginal or pelvic ache—are often indicative of one thing deeper. “This sort of ache often has a singular feeling to it, and may really feel like burning, tearing, sharp, sizzling, piercing, or simply very uncomfortable,” Reeves defined. She additionally mentioned that that is the sort of ache you don’t need throughout a sexual expertise, which is why it’s vital to speak to your gynecologist and get interested in what’s inflicting this so you’ll be able to clear up the issue.


Widespread Culprits of Painful Intercourse


1. Lack of lubrication and arousal

Lack of lubrication and arousal is without doubt one of the most typical culprits of painful intercourse, and as a rule, it comes from dashing into issues. “When penetration or an excessive amount of vigorous sexual stimulation occurs earlier than you’re totally aroused, it may possibly trigger ache and discomfort,” Reeves instructed me. “An excessive amount of friction may cause micro-tears within the vagina and vulva, which may make intercourse painful and trigger discomfort for days afterwards.”


2. Bacterial or yeast infections

Not solely are bacterial and yeast infections annoying and downright painful, Reeves says they can be liable for painful intercourse. This is because of the truth that all these infections can irritate the tissue within the vulva and vagina, inflicting fast ache. And having intercourse with a bacterial or yeast an infection may make symptoms worse, increase pain, and prolong healing time.


3. Hormonal fluctuations and problems

Have you ever ever seen that issues are inclined to get drier down there throughout sure instances in your cycle? Turns on the market’s a purpose for this: Hormonal fluctuations can improve vaginal dryness, which may create ache and discomfort throughout intercourse. “Hormonal fluctuations can affect the vaginal tissues and pure lubrication, and pure life phases like postpartum and menopause may cause adjustments within the physique and affect your vaginal microbiome,” Reeves defined to me. Likewise, hormonal problems, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, may make intercourse painful.


4. Pelvic flooring stress

The pelvic flooring is without doubt one of the greatest unsung heroes within the physique. It’s liable for bladder and bowel actions, helps the reproductive system, and promotes a wholesome intercourse. Nonetheless, in keeping with Reeves, any elevated stress to the pelvic flooring—brought on by stress, nervousness, vaginismus, or vulvodynia—could make intercourse unenjoyable, downright painful, or damn-near not possible. It is because your muscles can’t relax or contract once they’re purported to to be able to make intercourse pleasurable and penetration attainable, and each of these items can inhibit your skill to orgasm.


5. Scar tissue

“Scar tissue is one other frequent purpose ladies expertise painful intercourse, and it may possibly come from plenty of issues,” Reeves instructed me. She listed childbirth, scarring from pelvic procedures or surgical procedures, and endometriosis as among the most common aggressors of this.


6. Unprocessed feelings

It’s no secret that stress can manifest bodily within the physique, and unprocessed feelings aren’t any completely different. “The physique is the messenger of the unconscious, and massive, unfelt feelings can have a power affect on our skill to really feel current or totally out there for connection and pleasure throughout sexual expertise,” Reeves defined. These unprocessed feelings can stem from plenty of issues, together with a traumatic expertise or every day life. Within the latter occasion, this often comes from not permitting ourselves to really entry and really feel feelings we’re frequently experiencing.



How To Deal With Painful Intercourse


1. Emphasize foreplay

If a scarcity of lubrication and arousal is the rationale you’re experiencing painful intercourse, the excellent news is that it’s a straightforward repair—all it’s essential do is emphasize foreplay. Reeves recommends giving your self a mean of 20-40 minutes to do that. Not solely will this provide you with an opportunity to get totally aroused and correctly lubricated, it’ll additionally delay the session, which actually isn’t a foul factor. She additionally suggests speaking to your sexual accomplice forward of time and letting them know what you want to be able to be adequately turned on.


2. Hold a pleasure journal

“For those who’re experiencing any blocks to pleasure or feeling prefer it’s arduous to attach together with your physique, step one is to apply feeling pleasure in your physique frequently,” Reeves instructed me. She mentioned that she encourages everybody she works with to maintain just a little “pleasure” journal with all of them day, to allow them to write down each time they discover or expertise emotions of delight. As a rule, this usually comes from the most straightforward acts, comparable to consuming, showering, or transferring the physique.

“Partaking on this apply will provide help to practice your consideration in direction of constructive and pleasurable experiences,” Reeves defined. Likewise, it’ll additionally train you learn how to give your self permission to indulge, which will help you totally calm down and get into every thing when it’s time to play.


3. At all times use clear, vagina-friendly lube

It’s taken a while, however we’re lastly rewriting the narrative that enlisting the assistance of any “buddies”—like intercourse toys, lube, and many others.—within the bed room is a foul factor. In reality, Reeves strongly advises getting within the behavior of utilizing clear, vaginal-friendly lube any time you interact in any type of sexual play, solo or with a accomplice. 

“Utilizing a clear, vagina-friendly lube will stop you from incurring micro-tears brought on by an excessive amount of friction and never sufficient lubrication,” she mentioned. Plus, it’ll preserve issues good and slippery down there all the time, which is a win for everybody.


Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD

For those who want a whole lot of time to get aroused, that is the oil for you. The CBD helps calm down the muscle groups down there so that you’re prepared for stimulation or intercourse, and the natural botanicals within the components act as a pure aphrodisiac. Collectively, they improve arousal, improve pleasure, and intensify orgasms. All it’s a must to do is apply topically to the internal labia, clitoris and contained in the vagina and permit 5-Half-hour to take full impact.


Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD

This all-natural lube has simply two substances: CBD and coconut oil, so you’ll be able to belief what you’re placing on and inside your physique. Apply this lubricant generously to intimate areas to ease discomfort, improve arousal, and improve your total sexual expertise.


Use breath, sound, and motion

Reeves can be an enormous fan of utilizing breath, sound, and motion to assist the physique clear and course of feelings being held inside. “Breath, sound, and motion are instruments that assist monitor sensation within the physique and combine undigested emotional experiences,” she defined. She additionally mentioned that these instruments assist the physique develop a better capability for feeling protected and regulating the nervous system. “For those who give attention to pleasurable sensations in your physique whilst you’re transferring your physique, you’ll be able to assist your mind construct pathways which can be out there and open to pleasure.”

To get began, Reeves suggests placing on a playlist you like each night time, then discovering a spot in your own home that has a rug and the house the place you’ll be able to transfer round freely. When you’re there, use the impulses your physique provides you for breath, sound, and motion. “It’s so pleasing, and such a great way to coach your physique into a spot of security, pleasure, and expression,” Reeves instructed me.


Enlist the assistance of an expert

“For those who’re having power and critical ache throughout intercourse, it is perhaps resulting from ongoing irritation, scar tissue, or hormonal imbalances {that a} skilled will help you with,” Reeves mentioned. Whereas she recommends seeing your gynecologist any time you’re experiencing sexual discomfort, she additionally suggests wanting into methods you’ll be able to heal your physique holistically by working with pelvic flooring therapist or useful physician.

That mentioned, for those who’re having hassle connecting to your physique or are frequently interrupted by ideas and emotions that don’t mean you can really feel pleasure, Reeves suggests enlisting the assistance of a somatic intercourse therapist. “They’ll provide help to work the layers of your unconscious to deliver these emotions to completion, in order that they don’t proceed to deliver you out of the current second and interrupt your connection to pleasurable sensations,” she mentioned.


Sure, You Can Manifest a Higher Intercourse Life—Right here’s How