If you experience pain during sexual intercourse, know that you're not alone.
According to a 2015 study published in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine, about 30% of women suffer from pain during vaginal intercourse.
However, sexual pain indicates that there's something seriously wrong with your body.
Here, we explain what causes pain during sex, and what you can do about it.
Reasons for painful sex, tips for cure
Here's why you should never miss foreplay
The natural fluids in women's bodies start getting into action only once they're aptly aroused.
This implies that if you skip foreplay and rush into intercourse, chances are that your vaginal walls will stay dry, which is sure to make you feel pain during intercourse.
Thus, to avoid painful sex, exciting foreplay for a sufficiently long duration is a must.
Pain due to vaginal dryness; how to deal with it
One common, yet much-ignored cause of painful intercourse is vaginal dryness, which makes penetration difficult and uneasy.
Lack of foreplay, warm showers, and side effects of certain medications and pills are known to dry you out.
If that's the case, using a natural, zero-side effect lubricant every time you hit the sheets is advisable to avoid pain and soreness during sex.
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Intercourse soon after childbirth or surgery can be painful
Having sexual intercourse too soon after childbirth (normal, as well as through surgery) can be painful for a woman.
That's why it is generally recommended to refrain from penetrative sex for the first six weeks after childbirth/surgery.
If the pain persists even after this period, one should consider contacting their doctor, who might recommend medication, therapy, or rarely, another surgery.
Stress is also known to cause sexual pain
If you take stress to the bed, your experience can get ruined, as it will make you disinterested in getting intimate and may also cause pain.
So, make time for sex only when you feel like doing it, and not just for the sake of your partner.
Also, try relaxing activities like massage, walks, yoga, and meditation to calm yourself down.
Other causes of pain during intercourse include menopause and STDs
A woman's body (and vagina) goes through a number of changes during menopause. These include extra sensitivity in your vulva and vagina, and dryness in the vaginal area.
Additionally, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like genital warts, herpes, sores etc. can also make sexual intercourse painful.
In such cases, taking professional medical assistance is advised.
Skin issues and infections could also be the reason
A number of skin disorders can cause ulcers or cracks in the skin of the vulva.
Contact dermatitis is one such skin problem caused due to irritating substances, such as perfumed soaps, douches, or lubricants.
Contact a dermatologist if pain or irritation is felt down there.
In addition, natural lubricants and soaps are recommended for use down-under to avoid unwanted side effects.
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