Have you been experiencing pain during sex? Are you wondering what might be causing you pain during sex? This article explains why some individuals experience pain during sex and some reasons and solutions. Sex is an enjoyable experience that draws you and your partner closer together. However, when sex becomes painful, you might do anything to avoid it. There’s no doubt that painful sex can greatly impact your life and your relationship; it’s nothing to worry about or feel ashamed of. It’s a common problem and can be resolved with the right approach. Many people have been helped overcome painful intercourse, restoring their sexual health. Signs and Symptoms of painful Intercourse Frequent pain during intercourse involves feeling pain before, during, or after sex. The pain may affect your vagina, or it may be in your pelvic region, lower back, uterus, or bladder. Painful sex is more common in women, but men can also experience symptoms of painful sex. Common Symptoms of painful Sex in Women Symptoms of painful sex in women include pain during sexual penetration, pain with any penetration such as inserting a tampon in the vagina, pain during deep thrusting, burning or aching pain, and throbbing pain that persists after sex. Common Symptoms of painful Sex in Men Samulowitz et al. (2018) explained that symptoms associated with painful sex in men include: painful ejaculation, a burning sensation, and pelvic pain. Such painful sex symptoms are distressing and often something that most men and women do not want to speak up about because they are afraid to speak out. For an individual to get the appropriate treatment, they need to talk to their physician if they are experiencing any of these symptoms. Causes of painful Sex Richardson (2020) noted that the causes of painful sex range from structural problems to psychological concerns. It’s important to visit your doctor once you notice symptoms to get the appropriate diagnosis and care. Inflammation Inflammation in the genital areas in both men and women can be painful sex symptoms. Bacteria and fungi that inhabit the vagina can grow and cause an infection that can make the vagina swell and burn the entire vagina area. Also, most sexually transmitted bacteria can cause symptoms of pain during sex. Viral infections like herpes can also cause similar symptoms and make one get painful blisters upon contact. Bacterial Vaginosis Bacterial vaginosis is an inflammation of the vagina caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria normally present in the vagina. It’s not a sexually transmitted disease, but most cases are found in women after having unprotected sex, especially with multiple partners. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include itchy, foul-smelling discharge and burning during urination. Individuals should not ignore these symptoms because they make women more vulnerable to STDs, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and other infections. Aduloju et al. (2018) stated that pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis risk premature or low birth weight babies. The diagnosis is made through symptoms or pelvic exam and vaginal swab. Treatment consists of oral medication, cream, or gel inserted in the vagina. Gonococcal Cervicitis It is an inflammation of the cervix caused by gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that spreads through sexual contact. Symptoms of gonorrhea include vaginal discharge, pain during sex, and vaginal bleeding after sex. Gonococcal cervicitis can lead to further infection of the reproductive tract if not treated, resulting in sterility. Diagnosis is made after a cervical swab is taken and tasted. Treatment is through a course of oral antibiotics. When one is diagnosed with gonococcal cervicitis, it’s advisable to get tested for other STDs because they are often found simultaneously. The best prevention for gonorrhea is using a condom during intercourse. Hormonal Causes According to Iżycki et al. (2016), painful sex in women is caused mostly by hormonal imbalances and body changes such as menopause. Menopause is whereby women in their 40s to 50s experience symptoms like vaginal dryness that often leads to pain during sex. Uterine conditions due to hormonal imbalances can also result in painful sex. Emotional Causes Situations in people’s daily lives that reduce their desire to have sex or influence their arousal can also result in painful sex. Emotional causes include stress, history of sexual abuse, psychological issues, and medications. Painful Sex Treatments and Relief A doctor can deal with treatments for inflammatory causes of painful intercourse. A doctor can suggest the following; Treatment for Inflammatory Painful Sex Conditions Antibiotics: These will combat bacteria and fungi that most likely contribute to your symptoms.Dermatologic treatments: when your symptoms are due to a skin condition in your genital area, your physician may prescribe topical steroids that reduce inflammation.Sitz baths: This involves adding salt to your warm water baths. They help alleviate pain, and an individual can buy kits at the pharmacy. Treatment for Hormonal Causes of Painful Sex For hormonal painful sex conditions, your doctor may suggest: Estrogen therapy: This restores imbalances in estrogen in women experiencing symptoms of menopause. Estrogen therapy is usually used to treat dryness from atrophic vaginitis. Contraceptives: These work perfectly in controlling hormone levels and preventing conditions such as endometriosis. Treatments for Painful Sex from Emotional Causes Change positions: Try different positions during sex to regulate penetration depth and identify positions that cause you less pain. Use lubes: Lubricants usually make sex more comfortable. Communicate and take things slowly: Talk to your partner about any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing. Taking time during foreplay until you’re completely wet can help reduce pain. Conclusion With enough history, physical examination, and lab testing, a physician should be able to identify the causes of painful sex. It’s advisable to speak up if you are experiencing pain during sex to get the help you require since the causes of pain during intercourse are now discoverable and amenable to treatment. References Aduloju, O. P., Akintayo, A. A., & Aduloju, T. (2019). Prevalence Of Bacterial Vaginosis In Pregnancy In A Tertiary Health Institution, Southwestern Nigeria. The Pan African Medical Journal, 33. Iżycki, D., Woźniak, K., & Iżycka, N. (2016). Consequences Of Gynecological Cancer In Patients And Their Partners From The Sexual And Psychological Perspective. Przeglad Menopauzalny= Menopause Review, 15(2), 112. Richardsond, T. (2020). Primary Syphilis In Men Causes Painful Anogenital Lesions, And Serology Is Not Always Helpful. Samulowitz, A., Gremyr, I., Eriksson, E., & Hensing, G. (2018). “Brave Men” And “Emotional Women”: A Theory-Guided Literature Review On Gender Bias In Health Care And Gendered Norms Towards Patients With Chronic Pain. Pain Research And Management, 2018.