Pain After Intercourse – Why Does It Sting After Sex and How Do You Avoid It?
Sex should be about pleasure and enjoyment. However, for many women, enjoyment in sex is often quelled by pains in the genital area. There are many good and beautiful things about having sexual intercourse with the one you love, but unfortunately, for many women, it also causes stinging and irritation.
This is because the skin on and inside your genitals is extra sensitive. This means that it doesn’t take much before your genitals are pushed out of balance, feeling irritated or even infected with bacteria. Pain after intercourse can be quite harmless, but it can also be a sign of something more serious.
Read this guide for an overview of what can cause pain after intercourse and what you can do about it.
This article has been reviewed by
Pharmacist, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products. Here you can see Anne’s profile »
Pain After Intercourse
During sex and in the hours that follow, you may experience a burning, stinging or painful sensation. This stinging sensation can also make you constantly feel like you need to urinate, even when your bladder is empty.
If you are struggling with this soreness after sex, you’re definitely not alone. Many women experience pain after sex, which unfortunately means many women end up feeling apprehensive about having intercourse again, even with a partner they love.
It can cause real intimacy problems in your relationship and become a great source of frustration.
Causes of Vaginal Soreness
There are many reasons why it may sting in your vagina after intercourse. Here we will give you an overview of some of the more serious causes of vaginal soreness after sex. Fortunately, these are quite uncommon; often the pain is due to a completely harmless condition like simple vaginal irritation.
Vaginal Fungal Infections
Fungus in the vagina is a fungal infection, which in more than 80% of cases is caused by the yeast fungus Candida Albicans. In the mucous membranes of your vagina, yeast fungi are naturally occurring, but an infection can occur when the natural balance of bacteria and fungi changes. When an imbalance occurs, the yeast fungi are in optimal conditions to grow and spread.
The natural balance of the vagina may be disturbed by many things, including semen from sexual intercourse. The vagina is naturally acidic, while sperm is neutral on the pH scale – this can sometimes lead to a reduction in lactic acid bacteria levels in the vagina.
Thus, the fungi are allowed space to multiply, resulting in itching and burning sensations in the vagina.
If you have a vaginal fungal infection, you should also be aware that you can potentially infect your partner through intercourse. However, this is a very rare occurrence. Only women can infect men, not the other way around. On basis of this fungal infections are not considered sexually transmitted diseases.
A gel applied to the external genitals will remedy the itching and irritation.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Sexually transmitted diseases Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are bacterial infections in the sex organs which will present the same burning and stinging symptoms in the vagina. You may also experience soreness when urinating.
Generally, the pain caused by Chlamydia is comparable to the stinging feeling of being cut by glass. Even if you don’t have excruciating pain in the vagina after sex, you may still have chlamydia.
The disease can infect the urethra, cervix or rectum.
Genital Herpes (Herpes Genitalis)
Pain during or after sex can also be a sign of genital herpes, which is a viral infection. It is another sexually transmitted disease that is spread from mucosa to mucosa. Herpes can cause major irritation and a burning sensation in and around the vaginal entrance.
Once the herpes virus has infected your body, it will never leave. The herpes virus may stay latent within the body and never cause symptoms. Outbreaks of herpes, however, appear as blisters that will pop and become sore.
They tend to form on the labia and just within the entrance of the vagina, making them a source of great discomfort and burning sensations.
If you experience pain after intercourse, it could also be caused by an allergic reaction. If you and your partner use latex condoms, the latex can cause severe discomfort to the vagina with burning, rashes and itching.
Many women cannot tolerate latex in their sensitive vaginal area, and therefore their bodies can react severely.
If you and your partner use lubricant oil or Vaseline during intercourse, this can also explain why you feel pain during and after sex, as these substances often irritates the mucous membranes in the vagina.
Vaginal Irritation After Intercourse
Although there are many serious causes of pain after sex, in most causes the pain is due to a mild case of vaginal irritation. Irritation in the vagina often occurs when the mucous membranes are too dry or are attacked by natural bacteria from your sexual partner.
Just like the skin that covers the rest of your body, when the mucous membranes in the vagina are dry they become sensitive and irritated. Dry mucous membranes are at a greater risk of being scratched and wounded, which may cause soreness and pain during intercourse.
But why do mucous membranes dry out? The mucous membranes are moistened naturally when the body forms oestrogen in the ovaries. Your ovaries will continue to produce oestrogen from puberty up to menopause – so the mucous cleans the vagina naturally and oestrogen helps to create the mucous.
However, after menopause, the mucous membranes begin to dry out slightly, which can cause a burning and stinging sensation in the abdomen. But dryness in the vagina and vaginal irritation is a problem for many women who haven’t yet reached menopause.
This can sometimes be caused by taking contraceptive pills and other medicines, or from vaginal imbalance. Vaginal irritation can affect women of all ages and therefore is a major problem.
When the dry mucous membranes are exposed to friction during sexual intercourse, they will often tear – this is the most common cause of pain in your vagina after sex.
Relieve Pain After Intercourse
The painful, irritating feelings may disappear by themselves after sex, but in many cases, you will need to find a treatment to fully eradicate the pain. You can treat with Australian Bodycare’s Intim Glide. The Intim Glide is a water-based gel with natural active ingredients that adds lubrication during intercourse and reduces the friction, so you don’t need to worry about any subsequent pain.
The fear of pain can kill your libido, but with the right treatment you can enjoy sex with your partner again. The natural ingredients are effective against itching and irritation, so you won’t have problems with sores and lingering pain after sex.
Intim Glide is rich in Tea Tree oil, which has good antiseptic and antibacterial properties. This means that it does not only moisturises your vagina to reduce friction, it also counteracts bacteria transmitted from your partner which can cause intimate discomfort.
Generously apply the gel when you and your partner have sex, so that your entire genital area will have enough lubrication to avoid any friction.
Prevent Soreness After Intercourse
Are you in a situation where your vagina continuously hurts after sex? You can remedy the problem with Femigel, which is a dermatologically tested gel containing active natural ingredients such as Tea Tree oil, just like Intim Glide. The hormone-free gel is specially formulated to relieve itching and burning sensations at the vagina.
The formula of nutritious ingredients calms and cools the irritated skin around the vagina, so it heals faster. If you experience quite severe pain, you should use the gel twice a day over a long period of time. If you experience weak or mild pain, you can use the gel once a day.
In a 4-week study Femigel has been proven effective on many women, where the gel eased vaginal soreness, itching and discomfort after sex for 9 out of 10 women.
Australian Bodycare’s Femi Daily is also a good supplement for treating vaginal pain. As with everything else, the best treatment is always prevention, and that’s exactly what Femi Daily is developed for.
With the natural ingredient Tea Tree oil you are well-protected from bacteria while kept comfortably moist and pain free every day.