When sex hurts: possible causes
Hormones, physical and mental problems: Pain during sex can have a variety of causes. Let's find out more about them!
Sex is not always the way we imagine it to be. This is fine. Sometimes there is not enough relaxation, or the partner does not feel desire. Then the love game can harm everyone at once. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of women experience pain during lovemaking. Doctors suspect that this number is actually much higher because many women are afraid to discuss this issue with their gynecologist. And in vain, because the doctor can quickly solve the problem. "Sex shouldn't hurt," says Wiesbaden-based gynecologist Dr. Sheila de Liz. “There is still a misconception that pain during lovemaking is a variant of the norm, but this is not the case.” Every pain has a cause and it must be eliminated.
“Sometimes pain occurs for purely anatomical reasons, such as when a man hits his penis to the left or right of the cervix,” explains gynecologist Sheila de Liz. “In some cases, the key problem is the large size of the penis.” It is equally uncomfortable when the blows of the penis are directed towards the intestines, for example, when a woman stretches her legs too high. Communication and finding a position that would be most comfortable for both partners helps to solve the problem.
Sometimes it happens that the anatomy of the partners does not match, that is, the penis is too large compared to the vagina. "The vagina doesn't stretch endlessly during sex," says sexologist Beatrice Wagner. She advises to use positions in which a woman gets the opportunity to control the depth of penetration, for example, "rider".
When women complain of pain during sex, gynecologists first suspect hormones. “Any woman who takes pills or is protected by a hormonal coil suffers from a lack of hormones,” explains Dr. Sheila de Liz. “As a result, the mucosa becomes thinner and can release less moisture.” And where there is no lubrication, unpleasant friction occurs. The specialist recommends that you stop taking the pills and protect yourself with a copper coil.
However, not only artificial hormones lead to severe dryness: women also lack estrogen during breastfeeding and even more so after menopause. According to gynecologist de Liz, "The most effective way to reduce vaginal dryness is through the use of hormonal cream and intimate laser treatment." "The procedure stimulates the regeneration of a well-perfused mucosa."
Sometimes harmful bacteria settle in the vagina. These include colibacilli from the gut, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, which are passed on during sex. Every tenth person suffers from chlamydia at least once in their life. And what's worse, the infection is often not noticed - if left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even infertility.
“The only symptom women experience with chronic inflammation is often pain during sex,” says gynecologist Sheila de Liz. “As soon as pain appears, tests and smears should be taken.” The antibiotic quickly solves the problem.
Burning after sex? This indicates a violation of the microflora of the vagina, possibly due to the ingestion of intestinal microbes. In this case, a 10-day treatment with lactic acid bacteria is sufficient.
Uterine fibroids, nodules, and endometriosis, in which the lining of the uterus extends into the abdominal cavity, are some of the most common gynecological diseases. Fibroids usually do not need treatment. But if it is too large or in an unfavorable location, the blows of the penis can radiate into it, causing pain. The same thing happens when it encounters endometriosis tissue. For both problems, a combination of hormonal therapy and minimally invasive interventions often helps.
Last but not least, pain during sex can indicate ovarian cysts, which should be monitored as they can become cancerous. In addition, overgrown scars resulting, for example, as a result of birth injuries, can cause pain, but now it is possible to smooth them out with a vaginal laser.
The relationship between pain and a rare skin disease is possible, it appears in a chronic inflammatory process called lichen sclerosus. First, the vulva becomes inflamed, brown-red eczema appears, which becomes scarred. Over time, the area shrinks and vaginal penetration becomes more and more painful. Timely application of cortisone creams can stop the progression of the disease.
Even more mysterious is vulvodynia, which greatly aggravates the sensitivity to pain. Not only during intercourse. Pulling sensations, burning, itching are constant companions of a woman with vulvodonia. Even riding a bike or wearing tight pants is impossible for many. Cause? Still unknown.