Pain During Sex: Reasons Why and What You Can Do

pain during sex

We have all experienced pain during sex at some point in our lives. Painful sex can be the result of not enough lubrication or just a bad angle. However, 10%-20% of women will experience dyspareunia which is recurrent pain during or after sexual intercourse

What causes painful sex?

Not enough lubrication

Having sex when there’s not enough lubrication will result in sexual intimacy being painful. It may also result in tearing or bleeding, and irritation of the vaginal tissue.  Sometimes we may be in the mood and ready for intimacy, but our body is not. Be sure you are focusing on foreplay so that your body can feel pleasure without the pain.

Using a high-quality personal lubricant & vaginal moisturizer will also aid in your natural lubrication. The Mia Vita Personal Lubricant & Moisturizer is a beneficial vaginal moisturizer, containing hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.  It was designed to be used daily as well as being an effective personal lubricant to use right before sex. Much like your face, daily moisturizing will help keep the vaginal tissues healthy. 

Vaginal infections 

Firstly, if you know or think you may have an infection, it’s safer to not indulge in sexual intercourse until the infection clears up. Yeast infections can make sex very uncomfortable and penetration can exacerbate an infection.


Vestibulodynia is a form of vulvodynia, which causes chronic pain in the vulva. Vestibulodynia is chronic pain in the area around the opening of the vagina and inside the inner lips of the vulva. Vaginal penetration can aggravate vestibulodynia. 

Vaginal atrophy

Vaginal atrophy is the thinning and drying of the vaginal walls and tissue. This can often cause inflammation inside the vagina. Many perimenopausal and menopausal women will experience vaginal atrophy because of declining estrogen. Vaginal atrophy is often accompanied by urinary symptoms, like urgency (“the need to go”), and frequency (many visits to the bathroom) so it is also referred to as genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).

Common symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM):

  • Vaginal dryness and vaginal burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning with urination
  • Urgency and frequency with urination
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Painful intercourse
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

Why does sex hurt?

As mentioned above, there are many reasons why you are experiencing pain during sex. Painful sex might only be an occasional incidence because of a wrong move or even bloating after a big meal. If you are noticing discomfort every time you have sex, talk to your partner about other ways to experience intimacy. 

Sex should never hurt; if you are experiencing painful sex, be sure to contact your healthcare practitioner.

FemmePharma has been helping women navigate menopause for over two decades. No matter where you are in your journey, you deserve to have knowledgeable, intimate healthcare partners to help you feel your best. Explore our other articlespodcast episodes with women’s health experts, and products to ease your transition into menopause.

Shop FemmePharma Intimate Skincare

  • Mia Vita® Personal Lubricant & Moisturizer

    $63.00 available on subscription from $49.00 / month
  • Mia Vita® Gel

    $49.00 available on subscription from $34.30 / month
  • Mia Vita® Trial Pack

About the author
FemmePharma started as a pharmaceutical research and development company more than 20 years ago. We’ve been reinventing women’s healthcare ever since. Please consult your healthcare practitioner to decide which product best meets your needs.

Filed under: Relationships & Sex

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop