When should I see a health care professional about painful sex? What kinds of gynecologic conditions can cause pain during sex? Are there things a woman can do on her own to help with pain during sex? Pain during intercourse is very common—nearly 3 out of 4 women have pain during intercourse at some time during their lives. For some women, the pain is only a temporary problem; for others, it is a long-term problem. Pain during sex may be a sign of a gynecologic problem, such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Pain during sex also may be caused by problems with sexual response, such as a lack of desire the feeling of wanting to have sex or a lack of arousal the physical and emotional changes that occur in the body as a result of sexual stimulation.
What You Need to Know About Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse)
The following situations and conditions can contribute to or cause pain during intercourse or other forms of penetration. The first few times you have intercourse or experience vaginal penetration, you may feel a small to moderate amount of pain at the entrance to the vagina. There can be some bleeding or no bleeding at all—both are normal.
Deep penetration is the most likely cause of painful intercourse in females, but it can also be caused by a gynecological condition. Though this article will focus primarily on painful intercourse in females, we know that males can experience abdominal pain during sex, too. Regardless of the cause, painful sex can be treated.