Does sex give you more pain than pleasure? A sexologist tells you what to do

You don't have to suffer through painful sex now. Let's find out why you feel pain during sex and how you can prevent it.
Couple in bed
For having sex without pain, follow these tips. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 24 Apr 2023, 05:00 pm IST
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First-time sex can bring its set of apprehensions for people of all genders. For women, especially, the idea of being penetrated can be scary due to the pain associated with it. Sex can be painful at other times in life too – sometimes due to lack of lubrication, a skin rash or even if a certain position may not be comfortable. In order to enjoy sex and experience pleasure, you must know how to have sex pain free.

Health Shots connected with Dr Sanjay Kumawat, Consultant-Psychiatrist and Sexologist, Fortis Hospital Mulund, to find out about painful sex.

Why women feel pain during sex?

You can blame vaginismus and dyspareunia for pain during sex. Dr Kumawat explains that in case of vaginismus, there is difficulty to relax physically or mentally during sex. As for dyspareunia, it is persistent or recurrent pain down there that happens just before, during or after sex. The causes include:

• Poor quality of life.
• Strong association between problems like pain during sex and physical satisfaction, emotional satisfaction and overall life satisfaction.
• Childhood traumatic experiences.
• Values and attitudes towards life.

Ways to make sex pain free

If it is vaginismus, you need to develop a more positive attitude towards your private parts. Once that happens, you won’t experience painful sex. There are some other ways to reduce pain during sex. Let’s find out!

painful sex
You can try some pelvic floor exercises to make your sex life pleasurable! Image Courtesy: Freepik

1. Pelvic muscles relaxation exercises

This is to gain control of the muscles surrounding the entrance to vagina. You can do it manually by just holding the flow of the urine when you go to the washroom. This will help the pelvic muscles.

2. Self-exploration

You need to feel comfortable first, so use your own fingers to explore the inside of your vagina. This is partly to make things familiar and partly to begin penetration. Explore and address any negative attitudes at this stage. Once you are comfortable then let your partner do the same with his fingers under your guidance and with the help of a lubricant.

3. Vaginal containment

The expert says that vaginal containment is attempted through pelvic muscle exercises. A lotion would help in relaxing the vaginal muscles, making penetration easier. You can even take help of a counsellor who can tell you how to perform progressive muscle relaxation prior to sexual activity to reduce the body tension. Specific pelvic floor exercises like squats can help. Holding the urine flow for some time may help too.

Dr Kumawat says that positive self-talk can help to minimise the strain. Couple therapy is a must, which involves telling the woman the importance of adequate sexual arousal and proper positions selection. In some cases, doctors can even prescribe medicines for psychological stressors.

Dos and don’ts to avoid pain during sex

Pain during sex can be prevented. Just be aware of some of the dos and don’ts to enjoy sex.

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• Understand each other by improving communication
• Let your partner help you to gain confidence in overcoming the pain
• Avoid jumping on the act without the foreplay
• Avoid positions which lead to deep penetration and pain

To avoid painful intercourse, you should also avoid having negative attitude towards sex. Rather consider it as a normal physiological activity like sleep and eating. Once you relax and not overthink, you’ll be able to enjoy sex and forget about the pain!

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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