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When Sex Hurts

By Expert HERWriter
 
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when sex is painful Nassyrov Ruslan/PhotoSpin

As the all-female rap group Salt-N-Pepa said, “Everybody has sex. I mean, everybody should be makin’ love.” But there comes a point for some women where the “Ahhh!” turns to “Ouch!”

While it is true that if you don’t use it you lose it, and that women who don't bring regular stimulation to the cells of their vagina find themselves having more painful intercourse, there are other top reasons that sex can hurt.

1) You are dry down there.

Whether it is dehydration, lack of estrogen, menopause, stress, lack of stimulation, clomid, or cervical surgery -- dryness causes a lot of pain. Make sure you are well hydrated with water, and get your hormone levels checked. Communicate with your partner about what turns you on, and use lubrication as needed.

2) You have an infection.

The vagina is its own little ecosystem. When a bacteria or yeast enters the domain your immune system reacts with itching, burning, odor, and/or discharge. Subsequent intercourse can be painful, leading to a worsening infection.

Not all itching or discharge is yeast though. If the over-the-counter products don’t work, see your health care provider right away. Better yet, see them first and get tested so that you don't waste time or prolong the pain.

3) You have endometriosis.

This is a condition where tissue from the uterus implants itself in other locations such as the vagina and abdominal cavity. It is sensitive tissue that often adheres to muscles, tendons and organs in a disorganized fashion making sex, particularly deep penetration, painful.

Endometriosis is not commonly seen on ultrasound and is typically diagnosed based on history and exploratory surgery to seek and remove the implanted tissue. Talk with your health care provider about diagnosis and your options.

4) You have lichen sclerosus.

This skin condition typically affects menopausal women around their labia and clitoris. The most common symptoms are itching in absence of an infection, as well as thinning and scarring of the skin resulting in fissures and narrowing of the vaginal opening if it progresses.

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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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