When you experience painful intercourse, sex not enjoyable and can be distressing for both you and your partner. Pain may be felt in the vulva or vagina, during or after sex. Many women also report pain in the perineum (the small stretch of skin in between your vagina and anus), pelvis, lower back, bladder, and/or uterus.
It’s fairly common to experience pain during intercourse once in a while. But, if you’re experiencing severe, frequent, or a new type of pain during intercourse, please make an appointment with us. Painful intercourse might be caused by an emotional or psychological issue, or it may be a symptom of a physical disorder.
What are Causes of Painful Intercourse?
Painful intercourse may be associated with low sexual arousal, or decreased libido, which can be due to physical and emotional causes. Some of these common causes include:
Your mood or mindset
Many women have crippling emotional feelings surrounding sex, such as guilt, shame, embarrassment, or fear. Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to relax and be “in the moment” with your partner, which might affect your body’s ability to respond to sex.
Your partner’s sexual issues
Sometimes a partner’s problems can affect your desire to have sex, your sexual response, and your enjoyment of sex. One common problem is a partner’s delayed orgasm, which causes sex to last so long that it becomes painful for you.
Your relationship with your partner
Relationship problems can often get in the way of a healthy sex life. If you and your partner have different expectations for frequency or type of sex, you may have difficulty getting fully aroused for intercourse.
Some medications can reduce sexual response, including medications for pain, depression, or birth control.
Certain health conditions can certainly affect your desire for sex. Arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and thyroid diseases can make many activities tiring and uncomfortable.