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When intercourse is painful, what should you do? According to a recent study conducted by Redbook Magazine, up to 80% of women suffer from painful penetration at some point in their lives especially after childbirth. How do women go about treating this problem? What are your options? How can I fix this?
What Causes Painful Sex
In many cases, sex can be painful when lubrication is not sufficient. In these cases, the pain can be remedied with the use of a lubricant, such as KY or by changing up your sexual script in the bedroom to include more kissing and more foreplay to have good arousal stimulating adequate genital lubrication before sex is attempted.
Sometimes, vaginal infections can contribute to sex being painful. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are infections that can be easily treated for a more comfortable sexual experience. Also, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and sex too soon after childbirth can all be causes.
Finally, problems in the relationship can contribute to sex being painful. If things are not going well it can contribute to anxiety and fear with sex causing the muscles of the vagina to clamp down making sex uncomfortable or downright painful. In order for sex to be comfortable, the woman must be relaxed. If your relationship needs help, consider talking about the problems outside of the bedroom to see if resolution can be reached or consider seeing a Marriage and Sex Therapist for expert advice, find a referral at www.AASECT.org
How Can Painful Sex Be Treated
The easiest fix to treat painful sex is the use of a lubricant. Use a few drops for you and have your partner rub a few drops all over themselves so you both are ready to go.
Another idea is to have the woman use the lubricant to massage the entrance of her vaginal opening everyday for a few weeks in order to try and desensitize the area. You could also try using a numbing agent such as lidocaine to use during sex to try and numb some of the discomfort (have your man wear a condom so he doesn’t become numb as well).
Also, the use of a dilator can be helpful. Go online or to a store and get a set of 3 graded dilators, a small one, a medium one and a larger one (the larger one should be around the size of a man’s penis). Starting with the smallest dilator, apply lubricant to it and use it on yourself for penetration at least every other day until you can insert it comfortably. When the dilator is comfortable to use you are ready for the next size.
Do this exercise by yourself in order to be in control of the penetration. Some women want to do this exercise with their partner, which can work for some women, but doing it on your own often is recommended in order to control the penetration and work through the fear of the pain.
Seeing a therapist to work through issues such as sexual guilt, shame or trauma could also be helpful in solving the painful intercourse problem.
Vaginal dryness after or during menopause can also cause pain with sex. Seeing your doctor can gain you access to prescriptions that can alleviate vaginal dryness. Many women in my private practice have also found relief using KY Liqidbeads sold in most grocery stores. These beads are used daily in the vagina to replenish moisture and help with sensation.
Painful sex is a problem that affects many women but there are solutions, remedies and help available. Reach out to your Doctor or Sex Therapist for help, tips and tricks to get back that loving feeling and bring back pleasurable sex.