What Causes Pain During Sex for Women?


Sexual intercourse can be an expression of love between a woman and her partner. However, for some, sex can be impossible to enjoy due to pain that occurs. Pain that occurs during sex is more common than many women realize. Unfortunately, due to the highly intimate nature of this concern, many women may not feel comfortable discussing it. The first step to help resolve painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, is to identify the underlying cause. That’s why the reproductive healthcare providers at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett are here to explain some of the most common causes of pain during sex for women.

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is perhaps the most common cause for pain during sex. Dryness can result from several things including cigarette smoking, potentially irritating soaps and personal deodorants, and taking certain prescription medications. However, it is most commonly associated with menopause due to changes in the level of estrogen produced by the body during this time. At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we perform FemTouch™ Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation and offer both hormonal and non-hormonal medications for women who experience pain related to vaginal dryness.


Endometriosis is another cause of frequent pelvic pain including pain during sex. This condition causes tissue that is typically found in the lining of the uterus to grow on the outside of the reproductive organs, leading to discomfort during sex and during menstruation, as well as other symptoms. Endometriosis can be treated with hormone-based medications like birth control pills or gynecological surgery.


Another potential source of pain during intercourse for some women is a condition known as Vaginismus. Vaginismus causes involuntarily contractions of the vaginal, or pelvic floor, muscles during any form of vaginal penetration. These muscle contractions can happen during sexual intercourse, while inserting a tampon, or during a routine gynecologic exam. Although the underlying cause of vaginismus can be difficult to identify, the most effective vaginismus treatment plans combine physical and emotional therapies (including the use of a vaginal dilator) to help make a woman more comfortable with the idea of vaginal penetration.

The first step in treating pain during sex is visiting with a board-certified gynecologist in order to receive an accurate diagnosis. Only then can we work to find the most helpful and appropriate treatment plan for your needs. For more information or to request an appointment with one of our gynecological healthcare providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and updates on our upcoming Health & Wellness events.


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