Unfortunately dealing with painful sex is very common, some 30% of women claim to have experienced pain during their last sexual encounter. Although pain during sex is common that does not mean its okay and that its permanent. If you are experiencing pain don't wait to seek help, leaving painful sex untreated or UN-diagnosed can lead to fear of intimacy and a lowered sex drive. Pain is your bodies way of telling you that something is wrong, so take a step back and try to listen to what your body is indicating.
Common Causes for painful Intercourse:
Vulvodynia: also known as Vulvar pain is a chronic vulvar pain without any identifiable or specific causes. This varies from woman to woman, some experience the pain in one area and some experience it all over the vulva. When women experience pain in a more localized area it is referred to as Vestibulodynia which is pain in the tissue surrounding the vaginal opening. Common triggers of this pain can be from
- Wearing tight or fitted pants
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Insertion of Tampons
- Gynecological Examinations
Vaginismus: is a condition that affects a woman's ability to engage in vaginal penetration including intercourse, the insertion of tampons and gynecological exams. When women have Vaginismus their vagina muscles will squeeze or spasm when something is being inserted. It differs from women to women some women describe it as uncomfortable and some describe extreme pain. Most describe the pain as a tearing sensation and claim the pain only occurs with penetration.
What can I do?
In the comfort of your own home, do some Kegal exercises, squeeze the same muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold for about 10 seconds and release, do this about twenty times and do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with. If you can do Kegal exercises with Kegal Balls that's great, if you find using Kegal Balls too uncomfortable start by using your finger. After about a week of regularly doing Kegal exercises, insert one finger up to your knuckle and continue exercising your Kegal muscles, you will start to feel the vaginal muscles contract. Start with one finger and work your way up to three when you feel comfortable. Using a good lubricant can also help tremendously so that you don't feel any friction or pulling and tugging on the skin. Now there are a lot of women who suffer from Vaginismus related to fear and or anxiety, in this case it is highly recommended to seek the help of therapy to address these problems in a healthy way. Everyone is different, not every woman will experience the pain in the same way or even in the same magnitude. Recently I have read that some women seek help from Physical Therapists who specialize in pelvic therapy and find it very effective.
Dilation Kits are commonly recommended by doctors for women who have Vaginismus and Vulvodynia. Vaginal Dilators are devices that are tapered to slowly stretch the vaginal walls so penetration is more comfortable. Dilator Kits normally come in a vary of sizes so that the user is able to gradually move up in size.
Lubricants: are understated a lot of times but can truthfully help tremendously. A lot of vaginal discomfort and pain is due to vaginal dryness which can cause micro phishers, pulling and tugging on the skin and friction on the vaginal walls. A good lubricant can help insertion and penetration be more comfortable. Lubricant can also make intercourse more pleasurable by creating a sort of cushion between you and your partner.
Sliquid Satin is an Organic Water based Lubricant that is Glycerin free and Paraben free and is also a Vaginal Moisturizer. This lubricant is specifically great for women who lack vaginal moisture and who are also sensitive.