There are several factors that influence a woman’s sexual health and desires — hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause, etc. However, what makes sex undesirable for most women is pain during intercourse. Here are a few common reasons that could lead to pain during sex in women and how to avoid them:
#1 Vaginal dryness: Lack of natural lubrication is one of the common reasons of pain during sex in women. There could be a various reasons leading to vaginal dryness. Certain medications like contraceptive pills, antidepressant and medications for allergies tend to make the skin down there become dry and flaky. For women who are reaching menopause the vaginal lining can lose its moisture and become itchy causing pain during sex. Here are seven tips for a healthy vagina.
What you can do: Use a water based lubricant to moisturise the area before having sex. Also, vaginal stimulation and foreplay before the act could help you lubricate the area naturally. If medications are the reason behind your problem, talk to your doctor to come up with a plan to spice up your sex life. Avoid taking hot water baths before having sex as it dries the vaginal area.
#2 Vaginal infections: Fungal or yeast infections in the vagina are a root cause of pain during sex. These infections lead to itching, burning sensation and also make the vagina dry. Sometimes an infection in the cervix could also trigger pain during sex. This is because the penis reaches the cervix during maximum penetration.
What you can do: Tropical creams that treat vaginal infections could be of help. However, talk to your doctor before using one. An infection in the cervix would need medical monitoring or an advanced test like a pap smear to ascertain the cause. Here is what you need to know about excessive vaginal discharge.
#3 Injury to the vagina: A tear in the vagina due to natural birth or an episiotomy could make sex painful after childbirth.
What you can do: Don’t be in a hurry to resume your sex life after six weeks of delivery, as the doctor advised. You body needs more time to heal than what is speculated. In fact, take a break from sex if your vagina is not completely healed. Also, low levels of estrogen post-delivery make the vaginal area drier and difficult for penetration. Here is how to take care of your vagina after an episiotomy.
#4 Vaginismus: In this condition the vagina goes into spasm as the penis tries to penetrate inside. This is an involuntary condition where the reason for the spasm is mainly a previous trauma, pain or other physiological factors.
What you can do: There are a lot of therapies like relaxation techniques, couple therapy or even the recent treatment with Botox to help relax the vaginal muscles during intercourse. Sometimes doing Kegel exercises also helps to get some relief from the symptom. Here is how Botox helps in the treatment of vaginismus.
#5 Other female problems: Fibroids, cysts in the ovaries, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases and ectopic pregnancy can all trigger pain during deep penetration. Apart from this, sexually transmitted diseases could also be a problem during intercourse.
What you can do: Most of these problems would need medical interventions. Also, the symptoms of these problems would vary from one another. Hence, if there is no known cause for pain during sex get checked with your doctor to ascertain the cause and get treated accordingly.