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Ways to Treat Painful Sex in Women

By HERWriter
 
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Sexual Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Recent studies suggest more than 60 percent of women have had occurrences of discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. Also called dyspareunia, it happens in the genital area or deep inside the pelvis. It’s often described as burning, sharp or akin to menstrual cramps.

Unfortunately many women keep this to themselves. There are numerous ways to treat this problem. Often it just depends on what’s causing the pain. Some treatments for sexual pain require a doctor. Others do not.

First, rule out any serious medical conditions. Discomfort or pain during sex can be a sign of a health issue, so visit your doctor. Sometimes simply switching medications or treating an infection can relieve the pain.

In many cases, women experience painful sex when there isn’t enough vaginal lubrication. Water-based lubricant in the form of a cream, jelly or suppository can make sex more comfortable.

If vaginal dryness comes from menopause, talk with your doctor. For most postmenopausal women, inadequate lubrication results from low estrogen levels. Often, this can be treated with a prescription estrogen cream, tablet or vaginal ring.

Try changing your hygiene routine. Don’t douche. Avoid scented bath products as they can irritate the genital area and impair natural lubrication.

In the case of painful sex after pregnancy, wait at least six weeks after childbirth before resuming sexual intercourse. Water-based lubricants may also help.

Experiment with new sexual positions. A sharp pain during thrusting could be the penis hitting the cervix or stressing the pelvic floor muscles, causing aching or cramping pain. Changing positions may help.

Longer foreplay and stimulation can help with natural lubrication. Delaying penetration until full aroused may reduce pain.

Other causes of painful intercourse may require prescription drugs, like antibiotics or painkillers, or rarely, surgery.

Communicate with your partner. Talk about what arouses you and the problems you’re having with sex. Many times, the two of you can work on it and solve the issue.

Therapy is another option to treat painful sex.

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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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