6 Things Uncomfortable Sex Can Signify

by Megan Fu
Feb 5, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. ET

Sex can, and should, be many things: empowering, electrifying, exhilarating, maybe even inspiring. What it should not be is uncomfortable in any way. If you experience discomfort, however, you’re far from alone. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, nearly 75 percent of women find sex uncomfortable at some point. That’s a lot of women feeling pain when they should be feeling pleasure.

There are many possible causes for this pain. Whether it's the result of a rough go-round with your partner, a semen allergy (yes, it's possible) or endometriosis — a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus grows outside it — it is time to take back your body and your bedroom.

1/6 :Vaginismus

Vaginismus is when the muscles at the opening of the vagina contract and tighten involuntarily. It can happen not just during sex but when you’re inserting a tampon. While it can be the result of fear and is often seen in women who have experienced sexual abuse, there are physical etiologies as well. Different forms of therapy can be used to treat it, so it’s absolutely worth a visit to the gynecologist.

2 /6: Lack of Lubrication

2/6 :Lack of Lubrication

This is one of the most common causes of sexual pain and can simply be the result of too little foreplay or too much stress and fatigue. The solution? A water-based lubricant. And because the internet is amazing, you can Amazon Prime yourself some — or, better yet, try a few kinds and find out what works for you. Keep in mind that vaginal dryness can also be the result of low estrogen levels or a side effect of certain medications, so be sure to let your doctor know what’s going on.

3 /6: Endometriosis

3/6 :Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic disease where the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow outside the uterus, potentially spreading to the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and bladder. Discomfort during sex is a common symptom, and it can last for one to two days after intercourse. Other symptoms include painful periods and bowel movements, infertility, fatigue, bloating and nausea. While there is no cure for endometriosis, there are ways to manage and treat symptoms.

4/6 :Vaginitis

Vaginitis is inflammation of the vagina, and it can be caused by yeast or bacterial infections. If you’re experiencing discharge along with a burning sensation in the vagina and vulva, pay a visit to your gynecologist. The good news is that vaginitis can be easily treated with medication.

5 /6: Semen Allergy

5/6 :Semen Allergy

While rare, a semen or sperm allergy does exist, and it mostly affects women. If you experience redness, swelling, pain, itching and/or burning in an area that has been in contact with semen, make an appointment with your gynecologist or an allergist. Symptoms typically start 10 to 30 minutes after contact and can last from several hours to a few days.

6 /6: Retroverted Uterus

6/6 :Retroverted Uterus

Also known as a tilted or tipped uterus, a retroverted uterus is when the uterus tips toward your spine or rectum. It’s often genetic. Certain positions or deep thrusting can be uncomfortable because the penis (or a strap-on) can bump into the uterus. The solution? Switch it up! Find a position that works for you. A tilted uterus can be a symptom of something else, including endometriosis, so definitely speak with your doctor.