Why Penetrative Sex May Hurt

When you’re in the mood, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility of pain. It is a reality for so many people, though, that before they get down and dirty, they worry about what might happen during penetration. Some people might think that pain during penetrative sex is normal, but it is anything but.

Normal and common are not the same thing, so while pain during penetration may be common, it isn’t something you should ignore. There is a multitude of reasons why you might experience discomfort or even straight-up pain while having sex. Some of those reasons might be easily fixable, but some demonstrate underlying conditions you should pay attention to.


If you’re not getting wet down there, you can attribute it to a couple of different things. It’s highly possible you’re not aroused enough to get adequately lubricated naturally. Lubrication can be handled with experimentation. Toys or just spending some alone time with yourself can help you figure out what feels good and gets you to that point of arousal. You and your partner may also experiment with different things if arousal is tricky for you.

If vaginal dryness happens to be a chronic condition for you, you may find lubricants to be incredibly helpful in pain reduction during penetrative sex. Vaginal dryness is caused by decreased estrogen production in the body, and many things can cause that. Some of these reasons include but are not limited to:

  • Menopause

  • PCOS

  • Stress

  • Immune Deficiency

  • Breastfeeding

  • Medications

If your dryness leads to persistent pain or discomfort, you may want to seek out a professional opinion to see if there are other options for you.

Underlying Conditions

One thing to pay attention to, painful penetrative sex could be a sign of an underlying condition. Many people who have endometriosis find that vaginal sex is particularly painful for them because of the possible scarring it can cause. Vaginal scarring can also be caused by childbirth or surgeries related to the area, making it more painful to have sex as the tissue is less pliable. Menopause can also lead to pain as the estrogen in the body is lowering in quantity. Other conditions that may cause excessive pain with penetration are:

  • Infections: Yeast infections or UTIs can cause pain due to irritation. This includes STIs that may cause sores, warts, or any other wounds or irritation.

  • Vaginismus: This condition causes spasms of the muscles in the vagina, which can make penetration uncomfortable.

  • Damage: Scarring, tears, or damage to the uterus, ovaries, or cervix can lead to intense pain during intercourse. This can also include painful cysts that PCOS or other conditions can cause.

  • Disease: Problems like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which is the inflammation of the pelvic tissue; endometriosis, Genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder, and others can lead to severe pain when being penetrated as well as burning and other issues.


If you don’t have issues with vaginal dryness or any underlying conditions that are causing your pain, you may have high-sensitivity. The tissue of your vagina may be incredibly sensitive, making it more difficult for you to have penetrative sex. If you’re someone who has ruled out everything else that might be causing your pain, you may want to try other methods that could be more comfortable.

Utilizing lubricant and gentler methods such as lighter vibration toys or even clitoral stimulation may work better for your sexual comfort. As long as you take it slow and find what’s right for you, there are ways to help you have comfortable and fulfilling sex without it being painful. It can even be fun to test out what works for you as you might find more creative ways to have sex that you hadn’t tried before.

As long as you’re enjoying yourself and have found methods that are comfortable for you, you can work around your sensitivity to enjoy sex still. If your pain or discomfort lingers beyond initial penetration, you should seek your doctor’s opinion to ensure that nothing underlying is causing the issues. You may not be aware of something that is causing your pain, but your doctor can certainly help with whatever you’re experiencing.

Just trust your gut and don’t let your pain go unchecked; it could signal that something more serious is happening.

by Orchyd Team

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