Painful sex: Pain during or after sex (dyspareunia) can be caused by many things, such as:

  • Illness
  • Infection
  • A physical problem
  • A psychological problem

If you get pain during or after sex, your body may be trying to tell you something is wrong, so don't ignore it.

See your GP or go to a sexual health (genitourinary medicine, or GUM) clinic.

You may find talking about sex embarrassing, but remember that doctors are used to dealing with problems like this.

Pain during sex can affect both men and women.

Painful sex in Women

Women can experience pain during or after sex, either in the vagina or deeper in the pelvis.

Pain in the vagina could be caused by:

  • An infection. 
  • The menopause – changing hormone levels can make your vagina dry and cause atrophy.
  • Lack of sexual arousal at any age.
  • Vaginismus – a condition where muscles in or around the vagina shut tightly, making sex painful or impossible.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Fibroids growing near your vagina or cervix.
  • IBS.
  • Constipation.

 

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