Sex is not only a physical process that helps in reproduction, but also a health-related one. It is good for health. But pain during sex is a problem to many couples.
As per Dr. Shari Lawson, Department of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, painful intercourse can be felt externally or internally in the vagina, uterus, or pelvis. Factors such as underlying medical conditions or infections can cause painful sex.
The main reasons for painful sex are the following:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): About 20 million STIs cases are reported in the US each year. STDs can cause pain during sex.
Genital herpes: Blisters and sores caused by herpes can cause pain.
Vaginitis: Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. In particular, bacterial or yeast overgrowth in the vagina can cause irritation, discharge, and itching. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 75% of women experience vaginitis.
Inadequate foreplay during sex, infection, and urinary tract infections can all cause pain during sex.
Another cause of pain during sex is vaginal dryness. It is more common in women going through menopause. Women going through menopause may experience a drop in estrogen levels. It thins the lining of the vagina.
Treatments for painful sex:
1. If the vagina is thin and inflamed, estrogen creams can help the vaginal skin regain thickness and elasticity.
2. Antibiotics: If you have an STD or bacterial vaginosis, antibiotics often clear up the infection within two weeks.
3. Antifungal creams or pills: If you have a yeast infection, your doctor may prescribe a cream or pill to get rid of the fungus.
Those who experience pain during sex should pay attention to these things:
1. Do not wear tight and non-cotton underwear and maintain good vaginal hygiene.
2. Use condoms and other protection for sex.
3. See a gynecologist if you are concerned about sexual health problems.