7 Ways on How to Reduce Pain During Sex

Sex has always been a part of every life that has ever existed on Earth. Ever since the first cell showed up on the earth, Sex has brought revolutionary changes around. It is the reason all of us exist today because sex has caused the multiplication of organisms.

But many face issues during sex. One of them is pain during sex. Here, you can learn how to reduce pain during sex.

As said in human mythology1, Adam and Eve were the first people, a male, and a female, to be born on earth, They used sexual intercourse to reproduce and further expand human civilization.

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Every organism on earth uses sex to keep its species alive and refrain from becoming extinct. The most important reason for sexual intercourse has always been reproduction.

It is due to reproduction that a species can stand the test of time by multiplying its kind. Even though sex is mainly performed to reproduce, it has some other physical as well as mental reasons too.

1. Those Reasons Can Be

  • To celebrate a specific occasion.
  • To improve your relationship with your partner.
  • Due to pure and strong attraction towards a person.
  • To explore sex with the same gender.
  • Curiosity or newness.
  • To derive pleasure and satisfaction.
  • To bring your hormones under control.
  • For reproduction.

Sex, as an intense activity, can provide a lot of advantages both, physically and emotionally.

2. Benefits Derived From Sexual Activity

  • Improves blood circulation throughout the entire body, which in turn helps with conditions like heart stroke, cholesterol, hypertension, etcetera.
  • It burns out some extra calories and helps in weight loss, as it can be considered a form of exercise.
  • Improves the flexibility and mobility of almost all joints.
  • It helps to boost mood and self-confidence. Helps in strengthening a body’s immune system.
  • Boosts a person’s libido2 (also known as ‘sex drive’).
  • Helps in balancing a person’s hormones.
  • Helps in relieving stress.
  • Can prove to be beneficial in psychological disorders.
  • Can be had every day.
  • Proves to be a natural pain relief.
  • Enhances sleep quality.
  • Provides immense physical pleasure.
  • Leads to a better appetite.
  • Improves the strength of muscles.

2.1. More About Sex

For the longest time, men are known to have a higher sex drive than most women. Men require sex at a lot higher percentage than women do. The reason is not just physical and involves many other emotional and hormonal aspects too.

  • Testosterone is a male hormone that is also found in women to differ certain extent. It is produced in a man’s testicles and is responsible for his sex drive, muscle mass and strength, and bone density. Testosterone is the reason men desire more sex.
  • But even though men think of sex more than women, it is an important aspect of every woman’s life too. Every woman desires a partner who can satisfy her the best, which in turn will provide her with the pleasure she is looking for. But, sex is not as easy as it seems.
  • Sex is a hardcore topic in everyone’s lives, but it can also be the most sensitive issue. Most people experience pain during sexual intercourse. Women are more prone to sexual pain than men, although it can happen in men too.
  • As women possess a vagina, the hymen (a thin vaginal tissue present at the entrance of a vagina) proves to be a major factor contributing to painful sex. The hymen is said to break when a woman loses her virginity, although, a broken hymen does not necessarily mean loss of virginity3.

3. Non-sexual Reasons That Contribute to the Breaking of the Hymen

  • Gymnastics.
  • Riding a bicycle.
  • Riding a horse.
  • Over-exercising.
  • Using regular tampons.
  • Excessive masturbation.
  • Getting a vaginal exam.
  • Some underlying birth conditions.

At any point in one’s life, practising protected sexual intercourse is a must. Using contraceptives like condoms, birth control pills, etc, should always be adapted to have sex. The practice of safe sex is beneficial to everyone and reduces a lot of further complications that may arise from having unprotected sex.

4. Advantages of Using Contraceptives

  • A condom is the best contraceptive ever to exist and is the safest way of having sex.
  • As it is worn on the outside, it poses no harm to your internal organs.
  • Condoms have some lubricant on them, that contributes towards smooth sex.
  • Qualitative condoms are not subjected to any kind of infections or allergies.
  • Condoms prevent the exchange of body fluids, which does not cause the transmission of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).

Even though the entertainment industry and the porn industry make sex seem like a piece of cake, it comes with a lot of hassle and disagreements. Every person has different fetishes, likes, and dislikes. Sex is different for every individual and the desires of every person are different. The most basic and major problem of sex is pain during intercourse4.

A lot of people, men, and women, experience pain during their first time or also at certain different times in their sexual lives. Pain during intercourse can be extremely uncomfortable for all the parties involved in the activity.

5. Reasons Why One Experiences Pain During Sex

Pain during sex? What women need to know

5.1. Certain Kinds of Infections/Allergies:

A woman can experience genital pain during sex in the middle of the activity in her vulva, vagina, or deeper in the pelvis, and a man in his penis and testicles. This can be caused due to some skin diseases, infections, or allergies.

These can be caused by a lot of day-to-day reasons such as not cleaning your private area properly, wearing the same clothes for a prolonged period, or using irritable skin products.

Any kind of skin irritation can cause discomfort and painful intercourse.

5.2. Weak Pelvic Muscles:

Exercise should always be a part of everyone’s lives, no matter who they are or where they come from. Pelvic muscles are those muscles that line a woman’s reproductive organs.

Over time, it can get weakened due to certain factors such as age, surgery, nerve weakness, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle.

It is said that if the pelvic muscles are not strengthened to a minimal level, your uterus can even fall out of your vagina. Though, this is very rare.

5.3. Lack of Lubrication:

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Lubrication is one of the most important parts of sexual activity. Inadequate lubrication is one of the main causes of painful intercourse.

Penile or vaginal lubrication can help to get rid of the dryness and act as fuel for smooth movement.

5.4. Tight Hymen:

As said in the upper context, the hymen plays a role in the sexual life of a woman. Sometimes this hymen can be really thick, making it difficult to have pain-free sex.

The breaking of a thick hymn can take much more time than expected in some cases.

5.5. Lack of Foreplay:

Foreplay is the act of indulging in physical intimacy before penetration. It includes kissing, touching, stimulating, and oral sex. The main function of foreplay is to cause sexual arousal in a person.

This arousal is accompanied by an erection in males and wet vaginal discharge in females. This wet discharge acts as a natural lubricant and hence becomes important for better sexual penetration.

5.6. Gut Issues Like Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

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Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most concerning digestive issues as it adversely affects one’s health. It is the imbalance of gut bacteria that causes sensitivities to various foods with time, making it hard to digest anything.

People with this disease suffer from constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, constant gas, and stomach pain. With time, it starts giving rise to other conditions like headaches, weight gain, brain clutter, and nerve problems.

5.7. Multiple Sexual Partners:

Having multiple sexual partners is not at all wrong, although, it is important to be aware of their health condition. The most dreadful letdown of unprotected sexual intimacy is STIs.

Sharing yourself with multiple partners can expose you to different shapes, sizes, and bacterial balance. Having sexual activity with somebody with any STI can transfer it to you from them and can cause painful intercourse.

5.8. Menstruation:

During menstruation, women experience pain as well as all sorts of physical and emotional changes due to fluctuating hormones. Many women experience blood clots, muscle cramps, etc, during this time, which makes the vaginal area sensitive.

Again, nerve sensitivity can lead to painful intercourse.

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All these reasons are the major causes of painful sex and need to be checked if they occur for a prolonged period. At such times, it is important to see a physical therapist or sex therapist, who can help with these problems professionally.

But one does not need to worry even if one suffers from any of these conditions. Every condition is treatable and needs professional help.

6. How to Reduce Pain During Sex

6.1. Usage of Lubricants:

This is the most important thing to teach young teenagers about sex, besides the use of contraceptives. The use of water-based lubricants and silicone-based lubricants should be brought into regular practice to alleviate sexual pain, as they help to get rid of vaginal dryness.

Even though natural lubrication might be the safest way, it is better to refrain from them as well as oil-based lubricants.

The reason is that natural lubricants like water, saliva, aloe vera gel, etc., are all water-based and hence dry up quickly. The use of oil on a latex condom dissolves the condom, reducing its effectiveness.

Hence, a readymade water or silicone lubricant is the best way to reduce pain during sex, as it reduces friction.

6.2. Physical Therapy:

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Painful sex due to muscle tightness can be helped by lots of methods. Exercising the vaginal muscles is the best physical activity to perform in order to strengthen the required muscles, joints, and nerves.

Massaging the pelvic floor by applying gentle pressure is another way to alleviate unwanted pain. Certain vaginal relaxation exercises like pranayama, child’s pose, cobra pose, hip opening exercises, etc, can provide further relief.

6.3. Trying Different Positions:

Certain positions cause deeper penetration, which can result in sharp pain. Hence, if you are experiencing pain due to certain positions it is better to switch to different positions, that require shallow penetration.

Easy-going positions such as cowgirl, face-to-face, girl on top, and standing sex, should be performed for pain-free sex.

6.4. Focusing on Psychological Issues:

As odd as it may seem, psychological issues also play a major part in causing pain. These issues can be related to certain traumas, that might have been caused by certain past abuse.

A person’s sexuality also plays a big role, in reduced sex drive. During this situation, a person might not enjoy sex with a sexual partner of some specific gender.

Other issues can be caused by a certain medical condition, medical history, or other medications, which result in low libido. Behavioural therapy, medicines, and meditation can be adopted to bring control over these mental conditions.

6.5. Pain Relievers:

If the pain persists and becomes too uncomfortable, one can always use pain-relieving medications. These medicines stimulate the nervous system to relieve any underlying pain.

6.6. Adequate Foreplay:

In many women, a lack of foreplay causes vaginal dryness. In most postmenopausal women, dryness is caused by depleting estrogen (an important female hormone) levels.

Hence, it is always better to indulge in certain light physical activities, that are mostly inclined towards physical intimacy to turn each other on.

This causes the release of bodily fluids enabling smooth penetration.

6.7. Use of Contraceptives:

A lot of times, the lack of usage of condoms causes unwanted conditions and pregnancy. A condom is beneficial in all aspects because it stops the body fluids from exchanging, provides extra lubrication, and prevents pregnancy and STIs.

The use of condoms always helps to get rid of unwanted friction that may result in painful intercourse. Hence, a condom should always be used unless one is trying for deliberate pregnancy.

Other contraceptives like birth control pills can be taken, but not regularly, as they possess various side effects.

All these solutions should be brought into practice according to an individual’s problems and these will surely alleviate the symptoms. The most important thing besides all these solutions is awareness and alertness. If a person continues to experience certain discomfort in a particular area, they should seek professional medical help as soon as possible.

Diet plays a huge role here too, just as it does in every other thing.

7.1. Chocolate:

Chocolate has been a romanticized food for a long time but it does come with a lot of benefits. This sweet treat is responsible for the release of serotonin in our brain, which encourages a better mood.

7.2. Spinach:

Being a leafy vegetable, spinach is widely used for its general benefits. But, it can be a boon to our sexual lives too. It helps to boost hormones in both men and women and helps them experience better arousal.

7.3. Coffee

Coffee is known for its caffeine. This caffeine boost helps men by sustaining their erections and providing more energy.

7.4. Avocado

Avocado can specifically help women as it is one of the best foods to manage symptoms of PMS5 (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome). It is high in vitamins and hence helps with crankiness, bloating, and low energy.

7.5. Strawberries

It is one of those fruits which is high in vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for better blood flow, better skin, stress management, etc. It is also responsible for promoting the release of oxytocin, the love hormone of the body.

7.6. Watermelon

Known for its high water content, watermelon is a powerhouse of various amino acids. These amino acids help our blood vessels to relax and make the blood rush toward our sexual organs.

7.7. Eggs

Eggs are high in protein and help us manage our muscle mass. A good percentage of muscle helps our entire physical and mental health remain optimum. Eggs being high in protein and vitamin C, help in balancing our hormones. It is another food for a healthy libido.

7.8. Apples

There is no doubt that the apple is one of the healthiest fruits in the world. Due to its high amount of water content, less sugar, and much more, it is consumed by everyone. For sex, it helps in better blood circulation and can boost your mood.

7.9. Red Wine

Red wine, if consumed in moderate amounts, can result in many health benefits. It contains antioxidants that can help to reduce the inflammation in our bodies. Consumption of moderate alcohol is meant to increase sex drive and help natural lubrication and overall sexual functions.

8. Conclusion

Pain during sex can happen for many reasons like ovarian cysts, endometriosis, lack of foreplay and many other reasons. The pain happens in the vulva, in the area surrounding the opening of the vagina or within the vagina. The most common site of pain during sex is the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus.

So to reduce such pain, the application of a lubricant, foreplay and the things which are mentioned above is necessary.

Read here to know more.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is It Normal to Have 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.

Q2. What Is Sex Pain Like?

The most common symptom is pain with intercourse that occurs at the vaginal opening or deep in the pelvis. It can be a distinct pain in one area or it may affect the entire genital region. There can be feelings of discomfort, burning or throbbing.

Q3. What Kind of Pain Does Sex Feel Like?

The pain can feel like a stinging, burning, tearing or aching sensation. The pain can be felt at the entrance to the vagina when sex or penetration is just starting, or the pain could be felt deeper at the top of your vagina, in the abdomen.

Q4. How Long Can You Go Without Sex?

There is no set number for how often you and your partner should have sex. Plenty of couples are content with sex once a month while other couples prefer once a week. Keep communication open and don’t be afraid to try something new, like scheduling time for sex, to give your sex life a little boost.

  1. Bock, Kenneth Elliott. Human nature mythology. University of Illinois Press, 1994. ↩︎
  2. Graziottin, Alessandra. “Libido: the biologic scenario.” Maturitas 34 (2000): S9-S16. ↩︎
  3. Kulish, Nancy, and Deanna Holtzman. “Persephone, the loss of virginity and the female oedipal complex.” The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 79.1 (1998): 57. ↩︎
  4. Elmerstig, Eva, Barbro Wijma, and Carina Berterö. “Why do young women continue to have sexual intercourse despite pain?.” Journal of Adolescent Health 43.4 (2008): 357-363. ↩︎
  5. Derman, Orhan, et al. “Premenstrual syndrome and associated symptoms in adolescent girls.” European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 116.2 (2004): 201-206. ↩︎

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