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Ask an Expert: What Do I Do if I Experience Pain During Sex?

Welcome once more to Ask an Expert, the LOLA series where we offer expert answers to your most pressing reproductive health questions. Today, primary care physician Dr. Navya Mysore is answering the question, “What do I do if I experience pain during sex ?”

Pain during sex is a common question that comes to my office. It can be extremely painful physically and mentally and can really affect your sexual relationship with your partner. There are definitely other medical reasons that could be giving you pain during sex, such as endometriosis, fibroids, perimenopause–perimenopause being the reason that your vaginal tissue becomes a little bit more dry–bacterial vaginosis, or sexuallty transmitted infection, which are definitely easier to treat and could be the reason why you’re having pain during sex. Another reason that is particularly common is something called vaginismus, where you have spasms of the vaginal wall, almost like a muscle spasm, and it’s usually triggered after having a previous episode of vaginal pain. It’s almost like your body is trying to ward off the pain and then tightens up.

What can I be doing to help alleviate pain during sex? 

There’s definitely solutions for this. The treatment might take a longer process, but you absolutely can get back to a point where you’re not having pain during sex. I think the key takeaway is that you really have to figure out what the underlying cause is before you figure out what the treatment plan is. So, it’s not just as simple as using a little bit of lube and then that will take care of it. There might be an underlying issue going on that needs to be addressed. 

If you have any more serious concerns, please reach out to your primary care physician or your gynecologist. Feel free to continue the conversation below or use LOLA’s Ask an Expert page for more information!

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