Painful Sex

Sex should not hurt. If you experience pain during sexual intercourse, it is a sign something is amiss that may require medical treatment. Contact your OB-GYN provider at EstrogenicA Health 360 to get evaluated right away.

Painful intercourse – also called dyspareunia – may be experienced in a variety of ways, such as a burning sensation, dull ache, or sharp pain. It may be similar to menstrual cramps. It could occur on the outside of your vagina or feel as if it is occurring deep inside your abdomen or pelvic area. If you repeatedly experience pain before, during, or after intercourse, you are experiencing dyspareunia and should contact your doctor.

Reasons Sex Can Become Painful for Women

There are numerous reasons why you may experience pain during or even for a period of time after sexual intercourse.

Vaginal Dryness

One of the most common reasons for vaginal dryness is menopause. As your body produces less estrogen, the lining of your vagina becomes thinner, drier, and less flexible. The secretions that naturally lubricate the vagina are reduced. All of this can cause irritation, swelling, itching, and pain with sex. The good news, however, is that there are menopause symptom management options, such as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), that can not only address vaginal dryness but other menopause symptoms you may be experiencing, as well.

Vaginal dryness may also mean you are insufficiently stimulated when penetration begins, in which case synthetic lubrication may hold the key to alleviating painful sex and other symptoms. However, not all lubricants are the same – be sure to ask your gynecologist which lubricants are both safe and effective.

Vaginal dryness can be a side effect of many common medications, such as blood pressure medication, sedatives, antihistamines, antidepressants, and some forms of birth control.

The use of hygiene products such as douches, sprays, and other harsh chemicals can also lead to vaginal dryness.


Endometriosis is when tissue that typically lines your uterus grows in other areas, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or even your intestines. When this happens, it often causes pain during and after sex, especially if the growths develop near the vagina. If endometriosis is the reason for painful sex, you have endometriosis treatment options that can resolve it. Ask your EstrogenicA Health 360 provider what might be right for you.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Pain during sex is a symptom of many different STIs, including:

Infections & Inflammation

Vaginal infections, including yeast infections, are a common cause of pain during sex. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also cause painful sex. If you are susceptible to skin disorders such as eczema, if it occurs near the genitals, it can lead to pain with intercourse. In some cases, women have had an allergic reaction to semen or, more commonly, to the latex in condoms – which can cause pain during sex.

Uterine Fibroids

Painful sex can occur due to the presence of fibroids in the uterus. While these growths are typically benign, depending on the size or number of fibroids present, it can interfere with sexual activity and cause pain.

Uterine Prolapse

The muscles holding your uterus in place can become loose, causing your uterus to slip out of position – known as a condition called uterine prolapse. This can cause painful sex, as well as other symptoms, such as a loss of sensitivity and difficulty achieving orgasm.


A condition called vaginismus occurs when your vaginal muscles automatically tighten in reaction to penetration. If you experience pain during penetration – whether during attempted intercourse or during a pelvic exam at the doctor’s office – you may have vaginismus.


Abrasions, irritation, or trauma to your pelvic region can cause pain during sex.

Stop the Pain and Enjoy Sex Once Again

Are you experiencing pain with sexual activity? Sex shouldn’t hurt. If it does, visit the all-female OB-GYN team at EstrogenicA Health 360 in Dothan and Enterprise, Alabama, to find out what may be causing it – and get the treatment you need right away.

Call EstrogenicA Health 360 at (334) 671-9445 or toll-free at (877) 671-9445 to get started. You can also simply request an appointment.