Painful Intercourse Solutions | NU Fertility

Dr.Sneha J


Pain With Sex

Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable experience. However, occasionally it may get painful and unpleasant. American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology(ACOG) estimates that 75% of women experience pain during sex at some aspect of their life. If it is temporary and subsides, it is unlikely to be of concern.

Get yourself diagnosed

Some women avoid sex completely as it hurts. Some women may have had pleasant sex in the past and suddenly it could start hurting. The main cause of painful sex is vaginal dryness. Hormonal changes, especially in the perimenopausal and postmenopausal women cause inadequate lubrication in vagina, leading to pain with intercourse. Younger women on longer duration of oral contraceptive pills or breastfeeding women experience vaginal dryness too. If the woman is inadequately stimulated sexually, there is insufficient lubrication, causing pain and burning sensation

The other most common causes of pain include.

  1. Endometriosis –the lining of the uterus is called endometrium. The presence of this tissue outside the uterus in the pelvis, bladder, ovary or intestine causes fibrosis and pain with intercourse.
  2. Interstitial cystitis –Not all women with Pain/pressure symptoms in the pelvis/bladder, frequent urge to urinate have a urinary tract infection. Painful bladder syndrome presents with similar symptoms associated with painful intercourse and requires to be treated differently.
  3. Vaginismus –Some women experience severe phobia towards vaginal penetration. Any attempts at penetration causes contraction of the pelvic floor and thigh muscles making penetration impossible. These women may not be able to use vaginal tampons/ vaginal cups as the fear of penetration precludes it.
  4. Pelvic floor dysfunction – The muscles of the pelvic floor remain contracted abnormally causing pain with intercourse.
  5. Pelvis floor injury – Vaginal childbirth may be associated with injury to the pelvic floor causing pain.
  6. Vulvodynia – Pain in the vulva (opening of vagina) associated with itching, burning, chronic irritation, soreness and pain during sex.
  7. Gynaecological conditions – Ruptured / torsion of ovarian cyst and fibroids may seldom be the cause of pain.


Do not suffer in silence/ ignorance or guilt. Help is available for each of these conditions. You can have a healthy and happy sexual life again. Sex is not meant to be painful. It is important to consult a sexual medicine specialist who can make appropriate diagnosis and provide the necessary care.