Why Does It Hurt When I Have Sex?

Your sex life is important. Understanding why you suffer pain during intercourse can help you address the problem and make it easier for you to manage that pain—and to return to a more satisfying sex life. 

Published Sep 03 2020 6 min read

As many as three out of four women experience pain during intercourse at some point in their lives. They may struggle with short-term or long-term problems, many of which can decrease overall sexual pleasure or even prevent women from getting in the mood in the first place.

Your sex life is important. Understanding why you suffer pain during intercourse can help you address the problem and make it easier for you to manage that pain—and to return to a more satisfying sex life. 

Common Causes of Pain During Intercourse

painful sex

Pain during intercourse can occur for a variety of reasons. If you suffer from pain during intercourse and cannot identify the cause or find a solution, consult with your doctor as soon as possible. While pain during sex is common, you shouldn't consider it "normal," nor should it be something that you "just have to live with." 

1. Dryness

Many women suffer during sex due to excessive vaginal dryness. In order for sex to remain pleasurable, you need a smooth touch and plenty of lubrication. Without that lubrication, stimulation can quickly become coarse and uncomfortable. Women may suffer from vaginal dryness due to inadequate arousal, or they may suffer from dryness due to hormonal conditions, stress, or shifts in their monthly cycles. 

2. Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia is a condition that can cause chronic, burning pain in the vulva. Some women experience ongoing pain, while others notice that it shows up temporarily, then disappears as soon as it began. Vulvodynia can leave many women struggling with increased pain during sex. Some women find that avoiding tight clothing or potential irritants, including fabric softeners, some types of pads, and dyes, can help decrease the symptoms of vulvodynia. 

3. Childbirth

During childbirth, many women tear or require an episiotomy, which can leave the area tender for a long time. Many women struggle to return to normal following childbirth. While doctors typically recommend waiting at least six weeks before resuming normal sexual activity, many women need to wait far longer before they're ready to resume normal sexual activity again.

4. Endometriosis

When a woman has endometriosis, the penetration or other movements that go along with sex can pull endometrial tissue. In many cases, this can create ongoing pain during sex. Treatment for endometriosis also often increases vaginal dryness, which can further increase the pain that many women suffer during intercourse. 

5. Vaginismus

Vaginismus causes an involuntary tightening of the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening. Not only can this contracture be painful in and of itself, but it can also make penetration very difficult or even painful. It can cause ongoing discomfort or burning pain during intercourse. In order to address these symptoms, women may need to identify the affected muscles and relax them, which can take considerable time and therapy. 

6. Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs can cause burning or stinging during sex. They can also make penetration painful or leave many women suffering from ongoing pain during sex. An undiagnosed UTI may first show up as pain during penetration or masturbation. 

7. Thinning of the vaginal walls during menopause. 

During menopause, your hormones change immensely. Your vaginal walls may thin, leaving you suffering from more painful sex. You may also struggle with ongoing dryness, which can increase pain during sex. 

Help Exists: Common Solutions for Painful Sex and How They Can Help You

While working directly with a doctor can provide the most assistance when it comes to decreasing painful sex, many women may struggle to get the treatment they need. Not only that, physical therapy and hormone treatments can take time to work. What are you supposed to do in the meantime?

Luckily, there are several tools on the market that can help you address pain during sex, even helping remove or eliminate it altogether. 

1. Personal Lubricants

Many of the problems that cause pain during sex have a common root: vaginal dryness. If you aren't producing enough lubrication on your own, you may struggle to enjoy sex or experience increasing pain. Worse, anticipating that pain can make you even dryer, since you may struggle to reach arousal if you fear coming pain. 

Using a personal lubricant, including products like CocoNu Lube or Good Clean Love Organic Lube, can help you decrease pain during sex, increase your natural arousal, and make sex overall more satisfying. 

2. OhNut


OhNut is a wearable device that goes around your partner's penis and prevents him from fully penetrating you, without causing any decrease in sensation for either of you. Unlike a cock ring, OhNut does not fit tightly or restrict blood flow in any way. It does, however, help limit the depth of penetration, which can prevent you from suffering pain during deep thrusting. 

OhNut comes with four rings, each of which will take away some of the depth of your partner's penetration while maintaining the same level of sensation for the two of you. You can use any combination of rings: use just one, two, three, or all four based on your specific needs. 

3. Vibrators

Not only do vibrators help enhance your pleasure in the bedroom, but they can also help reduce sexual pain. Using a vibrator can help your muscles relax enough to allow for penetration when you suffer from vaginismus, or it can help add a pleasurable sensation that can help override other types of pain. Vibrators can also provide stimulation that helps you reach orgasm without penetration, which can make it easier for you to continue to enjoy many types of sexual activity even when you're suffering from painful sex.

Try adding Crescendo or Poco to your sexual play to make it overall more pleasant and comfortable. If you struggle with ongoing painful sex, you may find that you can reach orgasm with Crescendo or Poco where you might not have been able to do so through intercourse, which can help reignite your pleasure in sex and your enjoyment of your partner. You can also invest in Tenuto, which is worn at the base of your partner's penis and can deliver vibrations that stimulate both of you during intercourse for a more pleasurable sexual experience.  

Pain during sex can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you're used to enjoying an active sexual relationship with your partner. While MysteryVibe products cannot treat painful sex and are not a substitute for talking to a doctor, they can help enhance your sexual enjoyment. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how they can help you make the most out of your sexual experience. 

Have better sex