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Painful Sexual Intercourse Guide

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Ouch! Conditions that Can Cause Pain During Sex

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
 
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Pain during sex happens – a lot. Recent studies suggest more than 60 percent of women report current or previous episodes of pain during sexual intercourse. Unfortunately less than half discussed this pain with their doctors.

Pain during intercourse is defined as pain or discomfort in a woman's labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or after sexual intercourse. Symptoms occur when penetration is attempted, during or immediately after intercourse. The most common symptom is pain upon entry. The second is deep pain. Other symptoms include cramps, muscle spasms, or muscle tightness.

Pain located in the entire vaginal area may indicate conditions such as vulvar muscle degeneration, chronic vulvar pain, or a vaginal infection.

Deep thrust pain may suggest endometriosis, adhesions, the uterus tilting the wrong way, or sagging of the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Pain in the middle of the pelvis may suggest something in the uterus. Pain on one or both sides of the pelvis is tends to stem from the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and ligaments.

Here are some causes behind painful intercourse:

Vaginismus is painful muscle spasms at the opening of the vagina. These may be due to painful insertion, previous painful experiences, previous abuse, or an unresolved conflict regarding sexuality.

Vaginal infections are common and include yeast infections.

Vulvovaginitis, inflammation of the vulva and vagina, is common despite the increase in over-the-counter treatments.

Problems with the cervix, ovaries and uterus include infections, fibroids and cysts.

Uterine retroversion. When the uterus is tilted backward instead of forward.

Interstitial cystitis. Chronic inflammation of the bladder.

Endometriosis. When the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus.

Pelvic inflammatory disease causes tissues deep inside to become badly inflamed and pressure from intercourse causes deep pain.

Pelvic adhesions is when tissue has become stuck together, sometimes developing after surgery.

Ectopic pregnancy. When a fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

One common reason for painful sex is when women begin intercourse before they're ready--either physically or psychologically. They do this for a variety of reasons--anxiety that the man will lose his erection, fear that he will want (more) oral sex instead, a desire to just get it over with, skepticism that she'll ever feel truly ready, previous disappointments that the man doesn't want to do the things that get her aroused, and an unwillingness to kiss a partner who's been drinking or angry.

May 6, 2011 - 10:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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