Ouch, that pain again!

OOOH, oooh — ouch! During the adult game, such a sound means that someone is in pain. Sex is expected to be pleasurable, but there are some people who experience the opposite. Pain during sex not only ruins the moment, but it can have much greater consequences and needs to be dealt with immediately.

Pain is your body’s way of signalling that something is wrong. It’s a cue to take a step back and figure out what’s happening.

You may be tempted to dismiss sexual pain as “all in your head” but don’t make that mistake. Sexual intercourse pain is real! Pain during sex may be a sign of a gynaecological problem, such as ovarian cysts. It can also be caused by problems with sexual response such as a lack of desire or a lack of arousal. Remember, if you are dry, you will definitely feel some pain when your partner is trying to ‘‘break in’’.

I will highlight some of the causes of painful sex and how one can deal with them. As I have mentioned before, there must be enough lubrication to avoid pain. Sometimes discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse or penetration may occur even when it seems like your body is ready. If penetration is at all painful during sex, find out what the cause is and what can be done about it. A gynaecologist can help to determine if there’s an underlying physical cause and advise on treatment.

In most women, the wall of the vagina responds to arousal by producing a liquid that moistens the vagina and its entrance, making penetration easier. Sometimes there isn’t enough lubrication — you may need more time for stimulation and to get relaxed.

Insufficient lubrication can also be caused by lowered levels of estrogen, which can make vaginal tissue more fragile and affect the vaginal walls in such a way that less liquid is produced. This may occur after childbirth (particularly if you’re breastfeeding).

Some women experience insufficient lubrication during peri-menopause and post-menopause and may need to look for signs other than vaginal wetness to signal arousal. Others, regardless of their age, simply produce less lubricant.

At times you find some people saying if my partner uses a condom I feel pain. The problem is not the condom but that shows you will not be wet enough, in layman’s language. Foreplay is very crucial in avoiding unnecessary pain.

There is also the issue of “genital fit”. If your partner is really gifted and you are extra petite, you can have pain during the adult game. Here we are talking of those ladies where you find the manhood hitting the cervix or causing an uncomfortable level of stretch. When you have such a challenge, you should change sex positions and get the one where you are comfortable as well.

Telling him to slow down and to be more gentle is not enough in dealing with pain. One sex position which can help is the woman being on top and in control! Keep in mind that a woman’s body size is not related to the size of her vagina.

A number of genital infections can also make sex uncomfortable. Even women who are asymptomatic or unaware of their infections can have small changes in their vulva or vagina that can contribute to pain. Most genital infections are easily controlled or curable and the tests are simple.

If you’re experiencing pain, the most important thing is to communicate with your doctor and get tested appropriately.

There is a condition known as endometriosis, where the tissue that lines the uterus starts growing in other areas. It can lead to pain during intercourse and vaginal penetration, and can be really intolerable. Unfortunately, this requires a surgery. If you have painful periods and pain during sex, you should visit your doctor.

Changes in the vagina during menopause involve more than just lubrication, especially after menopause is completed. Parts of the vagina and vulva may become additionally sensitive, which can explain why something that used to feel good can now just plain hurt.

Birth control foam, cream or jelly can cause irritation in the vagina. If you think this is the case, try a different brand.

If the irritation persists, it may be in reaction to the spermicide Nonoxynol-9. Consider another birth control method.

Vaginal deodorant sprays, douches, scented tampons, and all so-called feminine hygiene products can irritate the vagina or vulva, as can body wash, soaps, bubble bath, and laundry detergents and dryer sheets. Try to avoid applying or using products that contain fragrances.

Relaxation is an important part of feeling ready for and interested in sex. De-stress before getting busy!