Does Sex Hurt? When You Should Consult A Doctor

Emma Stewart Nov 21, 2016 0 comments 0

Fire In Your Loins

Hopefully when we talk about the fire in our loins we are referring to the heat of our sexual fervour. But for some the flames of desire are being dampened by a burning that has nothing to do with smouldering passions.

The fire in your loins can become something very different to the heat of sexual passion.

Vaginal pain (Colpalgia) or vulval pain (Vulvodynia) can lead to some unpleasant bedroom experiences, such as the “Jesus, hell fire, where do you think you are going with that ?!!” type of  painful penetrative intercourse (Dyspareunia).  The pain can be caused by penile/finger/toy entry into the opening of the vagina or ‘deep’ thrusting during intercourse. It can be an aching, burning, stinging or throbbing sensation.

Suffering In Silence

 Unfortunately it’s very difficult to estimate the prevalence of dyspareunia within the general population because most women that experience it do not report it; they literally grin and bare it (a.k.a.  The ‘lay back and think of England’ approach) or simply abstain from any of ‘that sort of thing’. But what we do know is that for the 10-20% of women that do experience pain in the vajayjay, it can have a devastating impact upon their relationships and quality of life. Nobody likes it when our beaver is bothered.

Why Your Foo-Foo May No Longer Be Your Friend

There is usually an underlying medical condition for vulval or vaginal pain and it may even be associated with psychological issues (depression, issues with sexual identity or previous trauma). However, just to be clear I’m going to flagrantly capitalise – POONANI PAIN IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!!

There are many reasons that your foo-foo may not be feeling too jiggy:

  • Insufficient lube

When the love juices aren’t flowing, or haven’t had enough time to get going, then pain can be created during intercourse.

Vaginal dryness can also be caused by certain medications, such as anti-depressants, anti-histamines, high blood pressure medications, sedatives and some birth control pills.

Vaginal atrophy (when your vaginal walls thin and become inflamed because of low oestrogen in your body) is another cause of your chuff experiencing desert like aridity. This can occur during menopause or when breastfeeding. Also unlike its name suggests,  vaginal atrophy does not mean the old girl has packed her bags and is leaving for good, there is still light at the end for this tunnel.

  • Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), which is caused by an irritation or infection. The common symptoms of Vaginitis are vaginal discharge, itching, redness, swelling and pain.

Your lady bits are sensitive little beasts and they may become inflamed or react to antibiotics or other medications, scented ‘hygiene’ or menstrual products, tight clothing, condoms, spermicides, lubricants or even semen. Yep, she’s that fussy – and why shouldn’t she be??

Anyone that encourages you to douche your little flower with natural flora and fauna napalming, pH unbalancing chemicals and perfumes is, well, a douche.  Treat your beast with care.

Infections such as vaginal candidiasis (a yeast infection, commonly called ‘thrush’), Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and trichomoniasis (‘Trich’) can also be the cause of vaginitis.

  • Hormonal changes

As mentioned before our poonanis are pretty delicate flowers – hormonal imbalances or changes (e.g. during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, menopause – jeez pretty much every life cycle milestone) can lead to sensitivity.

  • Previous trauma or surgery

Nerve damage can occur during various activities where our beaver may have taken a bit of a bashing, such as cycling, horse-riding, aggressive or rough penetrative intercourse or during childbirth.  Genital surgery can also be the cause of chronic or recurrent pain.

A previous history of sexual abuse may have its physical and psychological aftermath for the survivor.  It’s important to recognise that a sexual problem is often more than just examining the physical body part. We are more than a sum of body parts. In order to get to the root of vulval pain we may have to look at the body, its parts and the feelings and emotions connected to them.

  • Abnormal growths or cysts

How Your Honey Pot Can Heal

Sexual pain can impact upon your current relationship or prevent you from engaging in a new one - it can have detrimental effects upon our sense of self, how we feel about our body and sexuality and even our self-esteem and confidence.

In some cases dyspareunia can lead to vaginismus, where the body and subconscious mind anticipates pain and will tighten the pelvic floor or cause muscular spasms to resist intercourse.  So doing something about your poonani pain can be very important, before further issues arise.

We all deserve to have a rich and pleasurable sexual life, so if we choose to engage in penetrative sex, with our partner (s), ourselves or our toys there are treatments that can help manage the pain.

Self-help

  • Engage in plenty of foreplay and outercourse
  • Ensure you are at a high level of personal arousal before engaging in penetrative intercourse
  • Try ladies-on-top positions and guide in any fingers, toys or penises
  • Communicate with your lover(s) about your level of comfort
  • Use plenty of an organic, water-based personal lubricant and moisturiser when engaging in some love play (e.g. Yes!)
  • Rinse the area in cool water, particularly after urination or sex
  • Soak in a bath
  • Apply icepacks wrapped in towels, cool compresses or use heat pads (just not too hot!!)
  • Use unscented tissues and body products
  • Wear organic bamboo or cotton underwear
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes or underwear
  • Avoid pools/tubs or spas with heavily chlorinated water
  • Keep your vulvar clean and dry (i.e. when wiping after the toilet wipe from front to back)
  • Maintain a healthy diet and keep your gut happy with plenty of pre and probiotics

Professional  Poonani Pampering

Seeking help from a range of professionals (gynaecologists, physiotherapists, sexual health professional and sex therapists) can be very beneficial and your twinkle with thank you.

- Counselling and sex therapy will incorporate assessment, education, goal setting, and relaxation techniques, identify underlying personal or relationship issues and offer you the necessary tools to resolve these issues. They may give you homework exercises too so that you can hone your skills in the privacy of your own home.

 - Physiotherapists specialised in women’s sexual health can perform a full examination, including musculoskeletal, vulval and pelvic floor examinations. They can offer therapy that is both hands on (e.g. trigger point massage in the pelvic area and transvaginally or using biofeedback) and educational (e.g. teaching you to engage and relax your pelvic muscles).

- Health care professionals (GP’s, gynaecologists, and sexual health practitioners) can rule out any underlying infections or health issues. They can also prescribe medications such as anti-fungals, local anaesthetics, oestrogen creams, antidepressants or nerve blockers. They even may refer you to a surgeon if a more radical approach as a last resort is required.

- Alternative health care professionals (acupuncturist, naturopath) can offer treatment or advice that compliments more traditional approaches.

Image credit: © Sergey Nivens - Fotolia.com

Emma Stewart
Emma is an integrative therapist and sexologist, with a practice based in W.A., Australia. She uses a range of modalities with clients to address sex and sexuality issues. As a sex- positive sex-geek, sex and sexuality workshop adventurer...if it flirts, squirts or (supposedly) ' perverts' she wants to find out more.

Emma is an integrative therapist and sexologist, with a practice based in W.A., Australia. She uses a range of modalities with clients to address sex and sexuality issues. As a sex- positive sex-geek, sex and sexuality workshop adventurer...if it flirts, squirts or (supposedly) ' perverts' she wants to find out more.

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