Why does sex hurt?

There are many reasons why sex might hurt, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. It could be a matter of incorrect lubrication, an underlying medical condition, or simply anxiety about sex. No matter the reason, pain during sex is not normal and can be frustrating for both partners involved. If you’re experiencing pain during sex, talk to your doctor to find out the underlying cause and get some relief.

Why does sex hurt?

Does sex hurt or feel discomfort ‘down there’?

The scenario: A client tells stories of excruciatingly painful sex and feels as if she is “permanently damaged down there”. The symptoms she describes, which has put an end to lovemaking sessions with her boyfriend, make me suspect vaginismus:

Where the muscles around the entrance to the vagina involuntarily contract or reflex, resulting in penetrative difficulties or inability, burning sensation and general pain and discomfort.

The treatment: Of sexual dysfunctions, vaginismus is considered one of the most successfully treated.

Since the treatment was created in 1970, studies have shown a treatment success rate of 97-100 percent. In our session I fully explain vaginismus while asking questions to find out if she has main (has only had painful sex) or secondary (has had pleasant, pain-free sex in the past) version.

As with a presentation involving physical symptoms, I encourage a gynecological evaluation to rule out other diagnoses. Assuming this is the cause, we will continue with a participatory treatment plan with a strong self-help component.

With the guidance of healthcare professionals, she will retrain the pelvic floor muscles – especially the pubococcygeus muscles – to properly respond to penetration through a series of physiotherapy-like exercises focusing on the pelvic floor muscles.

Other tasks will involve gentle insertion techniques and sensate focus strategies with your partner. A reasonable time frame for treatment is six weeks with suitable follow-up.

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Vogue Health Team

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