When you’re having s*x, the last thing that should be on your mind is grimacing through pain and discomfort. But unfortunately, pain during s*x is something most women will grapple with at some point.
Not all painful s*x is created equal. There are several reasons we might have discomfort. Some can be serious, but by and large the common complaints are usually caused by minor, highly treatable problems. If you are experiencing any sort of pain during s*x and it won’t go away, you should definitely talk to your doctor. But first see if one of these 5 causes of pain during s*x might apply to you.
1. Yeast Infection
Are you experiencing an itching or burning during intercourse? You might have a yeast infection. Discharge may be present, but not always.
“It’s a myth that this discharge always accompanies a yeast infection,” says Dr. Elizabeth G. Stewart, co-author of The V Book.
Mild infections can be treated with over-the-counter drugs. For more uncomfortable cases, do not pass go, do not collect $200 — go see your doctor for treatment. Yeast infections are relatively common and very treatable. You can prevent them by making sure you keeping your downstairs region clean and dry.
2. Scar Tissue
Does your skin feel tender or like it’s pulled tight when you’re having s*x? Did you have an episiotomy during childbirth? If you answered yes to these questions, your pain could be caused by scar tissue on your perineum. To treat this, massage the tissue with water-based lube every day to help soften the tissue and make you feel more comfortable. “This is a great way to make those nerve endings less sensitive,” says OB/GYN Jillian Grant.
3. Vaginal Dryness
This is one of the most common reasons women hurt during s*x. If you find the friction to be scratchy and uncomfortable, you aren’t alone. There are loads of different reasons for vaginal dryness, and it’s easily combated with lubricant.
4. Urinary Tract Infection
Feeling a little sore in the hips and like you’ve got to go to the bathroom during s*x? You might have a UTI. Go to your doctor to see if that’s the case, and you’ll be prescribed meds to treat and cure it.
Endometriosis affects 14% of women. During s*x, they can experience a sudden stabbing sensation. Another symptom is painful periods. The condition is caused by the uterus lining growing outside the uterus and spreading to the ovaries, pelvis, or intestines. It can also lead to problems with fertility.