No, it shouldn’t hurt!
What if sex hurts?
A Danish study shows that in the last year, 3% of all women have experienced pain during sex. Both Danish and international studies show that several women experience discomfort and pain during sex.
I often get approached by young women who want my advice on what to do about the pain they’re experiencing and whether “this is just how it is forever”.
Let me be clear about one thing:
It shouldn’t hurt. Don’t put up with it and don’t put yourself through one painful experience after the other.
Many different things can cause discomfort and pain during intercourse.
For some women it might be an infection which can be treated with a short treatment; for others it might be a tense pelvic floor – this is having overly tensed muscles in your pelvis – and others might be dealing with things such as Vaginism, Vulvodynia, Endometriosis, skin conditions etc.
There’s always an explanation!
Regardless of anything, the rule of thumb is: “If it hurts, if you experience pain or discomfort, go see a doctor!” I can not stress this enough. It’s so important that you go see a doctor, if you’re experiencing any pain.
The people I’ve met in my clinic have found that their doctor don’t meet their concern with understanding but rather a comment along these lines: “You just need to relax more during sex.” Right…
These women have left the doctor feeling hysterical and also, been left to figure out for themselves what is actually wrong and how to get treated.
If you have experienced anything like this, please consider changing your doctor – and don’t stop changing doctors until you find someone who takes you and your problem seriously.
Don’t settle! Don’t put up with it!
If your doctor can’t help you, they can refer you to a gynaecologist.
It hits the sore spot of “being a women” as well as the relationship.
These women experience that their sexual confidence takes a massive hit and some women find it hard to feel like a ‘real woman’, when they can’t have sex with their partner without it being uncomfortable for them.
Additionally, there’s the fear of the partner leaving them because they’re unable to have pain-free sex.
So in addition to the pain, there is a long list of worries being played on repeat in the minds of these women. Around the clock too. And this, of course, only adds to the emotional stress.
Some women even tell me that they continue to have sex and pretend that it doesn’t hurt – they’re simply terrified about what the consequences might be if they didn’t have sex with their partner.
Not everyone is honest about this problem and not everyone feels “brave” enough to tell their partner that they’re in pain.
Some might have been playing the pretending game for years and acted like they enjoyed the sex and then it can be even harder to suddenly up and share how the sex has been hurting them for years.
Some women even share that they haven’t had sex for several months or even years and that their desire for sex has completely vanished.
If something doesn’t feel very nice, you don’t exactly go looking for it, do you?
This is why kisses, hugs and cuddles and become really difficult to have as a part of your everyday life too.
These things might awaken a sexual desire in your partner – a desire you fair well know you don’t want to/can’t fulfil – and here we go again, feeling inadequate and feeling defeated.
All this can very well snowball into conflicts in the relationship.
This is why an uncomfortable “side effect” can be that you withdraw from your partner both emotionally and intimately and your partner has absolutely no idea what is going on.
Two things you simply must know if sex hurts!
- You can get help. Please don’t give up. Either your doctor can help you or they can refer you to a gynaecologist. There are professionals all over the country, trained to treat pains in your pelvis. Some problems can be treated without a very short period of time, while in other cases the pain can be lessened and they can help you deal with the problems actually causing the pain in the first place – they’ll also help you can your partner how deal with the problem, if it can’t be treated.
- Please remember that sex and sexual time together is MANY things and not just intercourse and penetration – which most people tend to think of when they hear the word ‘sex’. It’s so easy to focus on what you can’t do instead of focusing on what you can actually do. There might BE other possibilities and it, of course, differs from person to person, what is possible and what is nice for you. Sensual massage, oral sex, mutual masturbation can be ways to maintain a nice sex life during a difficult period of time, where penetration is simply not an option.
Maj’s advice: If you’re experiencing any pain, you need to see a doctor. Please don’t give up hope that this can be treated!
★ Are you also experiencing that sex hurts? Or maybe managed to turn things around? Or have you experienced that your partner is having this problem? It’d be amazing to see some comments from anyone who can relate to this topic
* Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately as I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can help one another. Because of this, I do have a zero tolerance policy to rudeness, condescension and other negative inputs.