Sexual Wellness

Pain During Sex: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies

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By By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 01 November 2022, Updated on - 25 June 2023

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The medical term for painful sex is 'dyspareunia.' This is the condition where there is consistent and recurring genital pain while having sex or even before and after having sex.

Sex is often labelled as pleasurable. But experiencing deep pain during sex confuses the mind. The body tends to shy away from that pain, which affects the couple's physical intimacy and builds a barrier.

It is important to consult the doctor if you are experiencing painful intercourse. Treatment for pain during sex can help identify the underlying cause and relieve this common problem.

Symptoms of pain during sex

Pelvic pain can often be confusing, and people interpret the pain due to some other medical condition or ignore it, or do not discuss it openly.

Here are some pointers that can confirm the symptoms of pain during sex.

  • Pain during penetration
  • Pain while inserting a tampon or menstrual cup
  • Deep pain during thrusting
  • Burning sensation in the vagina
  • Throbbing pain which lasts for hours after the sex

Do not hesitate to consult the doctor to find the underlying cause of pain during sex and treat it accordingly.

Causes of pain during sex in women

In most cases, the pain is caused due to less lubrication in the vagina. But there are other causes also leading to excruciating pain; which include entry pain, deep pain, and emotional factors. Let's go through the causes and home remedies for pain during sex:

1. Entry pain

1.1. Symptom: Decreased lubrication

Cause: Not enough lubrication due to decreased oestrogen level because of menopause, childbirth, or during breastfeeding. Also, some antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, antihistamines, and birth control pills cause decreased sexual arousal and lubrication.

Home remedies: This condition can be resolved quickly by using a lubricant or increasing the duration of foreplay, which relaxes the woman. Talk to the health care provider regarding medication management. Practise meditation which can improve overall wellness and thus reduce dependency on medication.

Red Flags: If these remedies fail to provide the desired effect, consult a sexual health expert.

1.2. Symptom: Vaginismus

Cause: Involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall due to the fear of getting injured or anxiety.

Home remedies: Women can do exercises at home to learn to control and relax the muscles around the vagina. Also, fear can be controlled by taking therapy.

Red Flags: If the condition prevails or there is increased pain, consult the doctor immediately.

1.3. Symptom: Infection, injury, inflammation

Cause: Urinary tract infections, any injury caused due to accidents, operations, or any inflammations at the site of the genital area can cause pain while having penetrative sex.

Home remedies: Antibiotics to treat the conditions prescribed by the doctor should be taken and allow the injury or inflammation to heal; eating antioxidant-rich foods, exercising, and meditation can help.

Red flags: If the state does not improve after taking medication, do not hesitate to get the medical attention on priority.

2. Deep pain

This is a condition that occurs during deep penetration. The pain is often severe and lasts for a longer duration.

2.1 Symptom: Deep penetration in certain positions worsens the pain.

Cause: Medical conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, cysts, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. can cause deep pain.

Home remedies: An active lifestyle with a balanced diet and prescribed medications can help to ease the condition.

Red flags: Weight gain, bleeding, genital lesions, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, etc. are the symptoms to watch out for. Consult the doctor immediately.

2.2. Symptom: Surgeries or specific treatments cause deep pain during penetrative sex

Cause: Pelvic surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy for treating cancers can cause specific changes which cause pain during sex.

Home remedies: Healing requires time, ample rest, and proper medications should be taken. Any home remedies during this time can cause infections, which would further delay the healing.

Red flags: Increased pain or discomfort in the groin, vagina, and lower abdomen. Consult the doctor immediately and take proper medication.

3. Emotional factors

3.1. Symptom: Psychological issues cause discomfort and pain during sex.

Cause: Pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten in response to stress in life. Also, anxiety, depression, body image issues, fear of intimacy, or relationship problems can contribute to discomfort. Early sexual assault cases, guilt, and inner conflicts regarding sex can also cause stress and pain.

Home remedies: Discussing the issues with our loved ones can also prove to be very comforting. Therapy and meditation can help to a great extent. Therapists can prescribe drugs that can help with the management of anxiety and depression. Do not take unsolicited advice it may further worsen the condition.

Red flags: Feeling low, mood swings, decreased interest in having sex. Consult a sexual health expert and follow through.


Several factors contribute to pain during sex in women. Effective pain management, along with supportive medications and therapies, are the proper way to be followed to decrease the symptoms.

Identifying the actual underlying cause can lead to faster recovery. Consulting a sexual health expert is the correct way to go about it. We can discuss the troubles openly with the doctor, who can prescribe the drugs, guide us to a therapist, or even demonstrate simple exercises to solve the problems.

Consult our doctors who are available for both online and in-clinic consultations.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the treatment for pain after sex?

Doctor may prescribe some ointments, such as lidocaine gel which will numb the vaginal area. This relieves the pain or discomfort while having intercourse. Topical steroid creams help in reducing irritation, swelling, and burning in the vagina.

2. Why does my cervix hurt when I have sex?

If the cervix is tensed or irritated, then it might hurt when the penis or anything like that of a tampon or menstrual cup is inserted. If a person has a retroverted uterus, that can also lead to pain. Other medical conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, or PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome) can make penetrative sex painful.

3. Does lubricant help with pain?

Non hormonal vaginal lubricants and moisturizers may help reduce friction and pain during intercourse. Lubricants are applied just before sex; moisturizers are used more regularly for longer-term relief. There are many brands with different ingredients, and finding the products that work for you can take time.

4. How severe is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition affecting your quality of life; it's not considered a fatal disease. In rare cases, however, endometriosis complications can cause life-threatening problems.

5. What is the best therapy for abuse?

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It helps a child who has been abused to manage distressing feelings better and deal with trauma-related memories. It is better to get the therapy started as soon as possible.


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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dhanunjay Reddy B


Sexual Wellness

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