Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching in Singapore. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is also the author of Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio.
Pain during sex is a serious issue. If left untreated, it can lead to an emotional and physical shutdown.
Pain during sex is not unusual. It’s called dyspareunia.
Studies show that 30 percent of women experience it at some point during their lifetime.
But in addition to the physical discomfort, pain during sex can also have negative psychological effects.
This combination can take a great toll on our sexual desire and even our relationships.
So let us look into the reasons and possible solutions to this condition.
5 Possible Reasons and Remedies for Painful Sex
Vaginismus is an involuntary contraction of the muscles at the opening of the vagina. It can make penetration difficult and in some instances impossible.
It is the most common issue I see when working with women and, in the majority of cases, Vaginismus is caused by a psychological fear of pain from penetration.
Possible Solution: The best way to combat this issue is to seek the help and guidance of a holistic psychologist or/and sexologist. Working on this issue usually means to work on your inner self, past pain or/and physical or emotional trauma.
There is a misconception that vaginal dryness is always caused by a lack of adequate foreplay.
In reality, dryness can be caused by anxiety, the side effects of medication, irritants, an imbalanced diet with little water intake and range of psychological issues.
Furthermore, one out of every three women experience vaginal dryness when going into menopause (as the level of estrogen in their bodies decreases).
Possible solution: Address vaginal dryness by using an all natural lubricant, focusing on foreplay, checking your overall health and optimizing your nutrition to a diet rich in fibers, fresh fruits and high water intake. If you have any intense burning, itching, or vaginal discomfort call your doctor.
Yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infections. The symptoms of this type of vaginal infection are burning, itchiness, and potential inflammation of the vaginal tissue. Having sex when you have an infection can put your partner at risk and lead to uncomfortable and sometimes painful sex
Possible solution:If you suspect you may have a yeast infection, please call your doctor. Solving the infection might help to heal painful intercourse.
Low sex drive can be the result of psychological factors such as stress, fatigue, shame, awkwardness or guilt around sex. It can also be the result of physical factors such as inelastic vaginal tissue (brought about by vaginal dryness).
And all of these factors can lead to painful sex.
Possible solution: As you work to try and understand the root of your low sex drive, it is important to communicate your feelings with your partner and, if the issue persists (whether as a result of psychological or physical factors) consider consulting a doctor or sex therapist.