The Causes of Vaginal Pain During Intercourse

There are various reasons that women may experience vaginal pain during vaginal intercourse. Vaginal pain is referred to as dyspareunia in the medical realm and it can be due to medical or psychological causes.

Vaginal pain is usually physical rather than psychological, but there are instances in which it is. For example, many people feel pain because they anticipate pain. One instance of this could be from a healing episiotomy she received when she gave birth to a child. It may have hurt during vaginal intercourse while she was healing and now she simply expects it to hurt so it does. However, it can also be associated with a tight vagina or a dry vagina.

Did you know?

 60 % of women experience some form of dyspareunia (vaginal pain) throughout the course of a lifetime. A common cause is vaginal dryness which can make intercourse painful, the use of lubrication can help alleviate vaginal pain making intercourse more comfortable.


When vaginal pain occurs, women are often distracted by the pain, which results in little to no vaginal lubrication. A thrusting penis is painful while the vagina is dry. This can often be remedied by simply using lubrication during vaginal intercourse. However, if the vaginal intercourse continues she may become chaffed and the skin around the vaginal opening may be irritated.


Other women feel vaginal pain because there partner is simply too long for them. When the man thrusts in, his penis hits the cervix, which results in a numb pain inside the abdomen. If this continues, it can cause bruising of the tissue, which can cause pain later as well.


Women who have vaginal infections, lower urinary tract infections, cervix or fallopian tube infections may all feel vaginal pain during vaginal intercourse or afterwards. Additionally, STDs are known to cause vaginal pain as well. Those that commonly do this include Chlamydia and trichomonas.


There are generally three types of vaginal pain. These including:

  • Vulvar pain– This pain is focused around the vaginal opening or around the external genitalia.  This can be caused by a lack of lubrication during vaginal intercourse.
  • Vaginal pain– This can be pain inside the actual vaginal canal and cervix.  This can also be caused by a lack of lubrication or the penis hitting the cervix.
  • Deep pain– This is often pain that is felt deeper in the body and not necessarily around the vagina itself.

Some women may feel a combination of all three.


Several methods can be used to ease discomfort.

One is to use water-soluble lubricant during intercourse. Petroleum is not recommended. However, keep in mind that some women are sensitive to lubricants and lotions. If using a latex condom, be certain to use only a water-soluble lubricant and not a lotion. Apply to both the penis and vagina liberally.


Allow the woman to insert the penis herself. This can be done with her on top or by her guiding it with her hand. This can help her to avoid any painful external areas that may not be missed otherwise.


Changing your sexual position to one with less penetration may be good for those women who have had a pelvic injury or who have pain from the penis hitting the cervix. She could be on top and adjusting the penetration herself or to minimize penetration, she can lie on her back with her legs extended flat on the bed and close together while her partner straddles hers. This limits the amount of penetration.


Finally, foreplay in a variety of ways can be of great assistance in increasing her arousal, natural lubrication and vaginal dilation. Watch an adult video, looking at adult photos, or bathing together can often help to get her in the right frame of mind for vaginal intercourse and limit the amount of vaginal pain she feels because she is well-prepared. »


Fun Facts

 Less than 30% of women have ever experience a vaginal orgasm, stimulation for you and your partner can be more intense with manual stimulation such as mutual masturbation and oral sex.