7 Potential Reasons Why You’re Experiencing Pain During Sex

Written by: Quanna Experts



Time to read 4 min

Sex can be an incredibly intimate and pleasurable experience, but it's not always that way. Sometimes, pain during sex can limit pleasure and bonding your experience because you are distracted in the moment. This can be frustrating and confusing for many people, but there are several possible reasons for painful sex.

Here are some of the common causes of sexual pain, however, it’s always best to speak with your doctor or personal gynecologist.

Reasons Women Have Pain During Sex

Reason #1: Lack of Lubrication

One of the most common reasons why sex isn't enjoyable and is because of a lack of lubrication. If the vagina isn't lubricated enough, it can be difficult or even painful to have sex. Vaginal dryness can happen for a variety of reasons, including hormonal changes, medications, and even stress. Using a good-quality lubricant can help to alleviate this discomfort.

Choose a high-quality lubricant that doesn't contain lube ingredients to avoid such as Parabens, and Glycerin and is pH Balanced.

Start with a small amount to test how it will affect you before using it during sex. You may need to try different types of lube such as silicone vs water-based lube to find which is best for you and your partner.

Reason #2: Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition where the muscles around the vagina involuntarily tighten, making penetration difficult or even impossible. This can result from past trauma, anxiety, or fear of pain. Certain medical conditions or infections can also cause it.

If you are experiencing Vaginismus don’t force sex thinking it will get better. You can damage both your vagina and sometimes cause pain to your partner's penis. Don’t be ashamed to stop and seek help from a gynecologist.

Treatment for vaginismus may include therapy, exercises to relax the pelvic muscles, or the use of dilators to gradually stretch the vaginal muscles.

Reason #3: Endometriosis

When the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus, it is known as endometriosis. This can cause severe pain during intercourse due to inflammation and scarring. Other symptoms of endometriosis include pelvic pain, heavy periods, and fertility issues.

Reason #4: Vulvodynia

If a person experiences chronic pain or discomfort in the vulva without any identifiable cause it may be due to a condition called vulvodynia. This condition can make sexual intercourse extremely painful. Other symptoms may include burning, stinging, or rawness in the vulva area. The exact cause of vulvodynia is unknown, but it may be related to nerve damage, hormonal changes, or past vaginal infections.

Reason #5: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

A weakened or damaged pelvic floor can also contribute to painful intercourse. The pelvic floor consists of muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic region's organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. If these muscles are weak or damaged, they may not be able to properly support the organs, leading to discomfort or pain during sexual activity.

There are easy exercises you can do to strengthen these muscles in your pelvic floor called kegels. To exercise these muscles you first need to identify them by stopping urination mid-flow. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.

To exercise them you can squeeze and tighten them, hold for a few seconds, and then release the muscles. Do this repetitively for a few minutes each day progressively increasing the time length you squeeze and hold each contraction [1].

Reason #6: Psychological Factors

The mind plays a vital role in sexual arousal and pleasure. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, or past traumatic experiences can all contribute to painful intercourse. When a person is experiencing emotional distress during sex, their body may respond by tensing up, which can result in awkwardness or discomfort.

If you experience this happening to you or you sense your partner is going through this, it’s ok to stop having sex and give your partner the emotional support they need. This could take the form of “holding space” where you are physically present in the same room but allowing your partner to collect themselves before they talk to you or it could be emotional and physical closeness where you hold them as they process their thoughts and feelings. You’ll know which your partner needs.

Reason #7: Lack of Communication

Open, honest communication is key in any sexual relationship. If individuals are not communicating their needs, desires, and boundaries effectively, it can lead to painful intercourse. Lack of communication can result in partners not knowing how to please each other or not being aware that a specific position or technique is causing discomfort.

Home Remedies for Painful Intercourse

If you experience painful sex regularly then home remedies are not the best course of action. It would be better to seek out the help of your doctor or better, your gynecologist as medical intervention may be needed.

However, if painful sex is not a regular occurrence then the first thing you should do to reduce painful sex is add a water-based lubricant to reduce friction and increase pleasure.

Depending on the severity of the pain and what feels best to you, you can apply an ice pack or heat pad directly to the vulva. Taking a warm bath can help as well to relieve some of the discomfort.

Key Takeaway

These are only some of the pain during sex causes. These reasons can include physical factors such as lack of lubrication or muscle tension, as well as psychological factors such as stress or anxiety. Communicate openly with your partner and seek medical advice, if needed, to address any issues and ensure a pleasurable and enjoyable sexual experience.

If you are experiencing pain during sex due to lack of lubrication and vaginal dryness, our sexual wellness store has everything you need including CBD lubricant to help reduce dryness and increase pleasure. Order online for discreetly delivered to your door.


[1] Kegel Exercises