Too many people are quick to dismiss pain during sex as either a sexual dysfunction or worse still as a necessary part of the act. However, for women who experience it, feeling any kind of sharp irritation, discomfort or sensitivity in or around the genitals isn’t something to be joked around with.
A lot of people have simply accepted pain as an inevitable part of pleasure. Some doctors even dismiss symptoms when there are no visible signs of damage. But an estimated 75% of women are likely to have experienced pain during sex or after, which means the problem is indeed a phenomenon more common than earlier perceived.
Because of a paucity of knowledge and medical research on the subject of painful sex, there are widespread misconceptions about it.
The most common is an exaggerated focus on the possible emotional or psychological cause of the pain rather than the obvious physiological causes too. At a point, there was even some confusion about how pain during sex should be labelled in Medicine. In fact, some professionals wrongly classify it as sexual dysfunction instead of a pain syndrome which it really is.
Feeling pain in the pelvis or anywhere around the genitals can be caused by various reasons. These include possible infections, muscle condition, dryness or insufficient lubrication or outgrowth of nerve endings on the vaginal walls. But these aren’t the only possible causes.
To better understand the cause of such pain we might have to consider whether the pain occurs begins during sex or after intercourse.
Pain during intercourse as a result of penetration can be attributed to causes like vaginal dryness, infections, allergic reactions or an underlying physical or mental health condition.
Post-sex pain, on the other hand, is caused usually when there is damage to the vulva during intercourse. But this isn’t the only possible cause.
One could also experience orgasm-induced headaches, pelvic decongestion or post-orgasmic illness syndrome. In these cases, the cause of pain isn’t merely penetration.
What to do
Tune in and identify the type of pain
One factor which has allowed the issue of painful sex to rage on without getting the attention it deserves is the erroneous belief that penetrative sex should be painful. Because of this, many women who experience it simply dismiss it without paying close attention to the causes or possible solutions. But by tuning in to your body you will be able to figure out the type of pain, what is causing it and possibly find a solution for it.
Figure out the cause
High friction intercourse as a result of poor lubrication or a large phallus is the most common cause of pain during sex.
Taking repeated hits to the cervix when a partner’s penis is longer than your vaginal canal can also cause bruising. However, sometimes the pain isn’t because the sex is bad but because it was too good.
For example, some people commonly experience post-orgasmic headaches. Other types of pains like pelvic decongestion occur when you are super aroused without an orgasm.
Dealing with pain during sex
In all cases, the first thing to do is to figure out what is going on in your body. By accepting that feeling sexual pain is not normal, you can begin to identify the issues and find the correct words to describe the pains.
In most cases, a simple change in certain sex habits or conditions during intercourse like simply taking more time on foreplay is all you need.
Since solutions vary from case to case, knowing your body and speaking to your partner freely on the problem and possible changes both of you can make is a good place to start.