Pain During Intercourse: What's Going On?

Intercourse is meant to be an enjoyable experience for both parties involved in the process. When sex is painful or uncomfortable, something is amiss. Learn some common reasons why a woman might experience pain during sex and what to do about it. 

Yeast Infection

Yeast infections are common among women of childbearing age and typically occur when the pH level inside the vagina reaches an unsafe zone or from taking certain medications, such as antibiotics. A common symptom many women experience with this condition is itching. However, while some women itch constantly, some women will only itch when the area is disturbed, such as during penetration. The itch might even continue after intercourse. 

Keep in mind that discharge is not always present with a yeast infection, so just because you don't experience it doesn't mean you don't have an infection. If you suspect you have a yeast infection, you need to treat the condition before you engage in intercourse. 


When the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus, the condition is known as endometriosis. Many women who suffer from this condition often experience painful menstrual cycles, but endometriosis can also cause pain during intercourse. 

If the uterine tissue is large in size and expands to the area behind the vagina, as your partner penetrates the vagina, they could hit the tissue and cause pain. Endometriosis is a treatable condition, often through a surgical operation, but in the meantime, you and your partner may be able to experiment with different positions to minimize any pain you feel. 

Poor Lubrication

Proper lubrication is essential for an enjoyable sexual encounter for both you and your partner. When the vagina is not properly lubricated, the penetration process will feel rough and painful. A woman can experience lubrication issues for a variety of reasons, including hormonal changes; the transition to menopause, certain medical conditions, such as PCOS; or from taking certain medications that can cause vaginal dryness.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication to help combat the issue. Additionally, moving toward penetration too quickly can also cause this same issue. Foreplay is often helpful to stimulate the female organs and initiate the lubrication process. 

If you experience pain during intercourse, speak with an Ob-GYN, such as Johnson  City Ob-Gyn. Your doctor will perform a complete workup to determine the cause of your discomfort and organize an appropriate treatment plan for you.