How common is pain during sex?

No one wants to feel discomfort during intercourse, but it’s actually very common. Almost three out of four women experience pain during sex at some point in their life* for one reason or another. So if it’s something you’re dealing with, remember that you’re not alone. 

What can cause painful sex?

There are all kinds of different factors that can contribute to painful sex. From gynaecological issues – like endometriosis, ovarian cysts (PCOS) or fibroids – to surgery and childbirth. Reasons can also be rooted in your state of mind (stress can be a major contender), medication or a lack of stimulation. 

Are there any treatments or solutions?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for painful sex, there are a lot of methods – and some great tools – to help decrease pain and still allow you to enjoy intimacy.

talk – being able to speak to your partner about what you’re feeling can make a big difference and avoid misunderstandings and feelings of inadequacy for both of you. Trust them to help you through this and help you find alternative ways of being sexual together.

play – of course, there are a lot of ways to enjoy getting intimate that don’t require penetration. Sharing a massage is a great way to unwind sensually, and can be incredibly stimulating in itself. Oral sex, masturbation, and surface play using organic lubricants allow you to get sexual without penetration. And if you’re able to enjoy penetration, Ohnut is a toy specifically designed to help ease painful sex by allowing you to adjust positions and penetration depth.

self care – relax your body and mind prior to intercourse by taking a candle lit bath, practising yoga or meditating. If you have a long term condition like endometriosis, plan ahead by taking any prescribed pain medication in advance to help minimise the onset of pain.

pelvic physical therapy – by focusing on pelvic strengthening, pelvic physical therapy shows you how to control the muscles in your vagina by teaching exercises that focus on relaxing these muscles, helping diminish painful cramping.