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Ladies! Is Sex Painful? Find Out Why

    Sometimes, we women feel like we should have sex. Maybe it's been a while or maybe you have a sex break scheduled. You don't want to disappoint your love. Now somewhere in or around your vaginal opening or walls hurts, maybe you nicked your inner lips while shaving, waxing, or prepping. We've all been there, but how do you describe this to a lover? How important is to have sex that's pleasurable for the both of you? What do you when sex is painful? Dr. Jenn, a leading sex educator and therapist from sunny, warm San Diego reports.

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    Dear Dr. Jenn,

    Is it normal to have pain when I have sex with my boyfriend? It’s not all the time, but about half the time I have to stop him once he’s inside because it hurts too much. What should we do?

    Thank you!
    Sex is a Pain

    Dear Sex is a Pain,

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re experiencing pain! But very happy that you brought it up, since you are not alone. A 2010 Indiana University study found that one third of women reported genital pain during their last sexual encounter. First, a few clarifying questions: Where is the pain located? Is it inside or outside your vagina? What does the pain feel like, for example, is it burning or sore? Has this happened with past partners? Can you pinpoint any differences between the times you have pain and the times you do not?

    If the pain is deep inside and only occasional, it might be connected to changes in your menstrual cycle, which can shift your cervix and uterus. I suggest that you alter sexual positions when there’s pain, to find one that doesn’t allow for deep penetration.

    On the other hand, if the pain is right around the entrance to your vagina, there are likely other factors coming into play, such as lubrication and time. Since the pain is not always present, I’m guessing that the difference could be that you haven’t had enough time to get all juicy and lubricated.

    All bodies are different, and some people need more foreplay prior to intercourse to allow their genitals to engorge with blood and for the body to kick in with natural vaginal lubrication. More finger and tongue action around the vulva and vaginal opening should better prepare you for penetration.

    Also, adding a personal lubricant can help reduce unwanted friction (I recommend brands like Sliquid, Hathor Aphrodisia, or Pink). If you believe you have a physical problem that is not addressed here or is more serious (e.g., vulvodynia), we are lucky in San Diego to have the Sexual Medicine Clinic at Alvarado Hospital. Visit them to determine the source of your pain.

    It’s very important that you openly discuss this with your boyfriend. You want to make sure both of you are doing what you can to stop the pain. Sometimes women grin and bear it, but in the long run this creates a negative feedback loop around sex. Sex should be fun and pleasurable for both partners and I hope this helps you achieve that. I wish you happy and healthy sex!

    Dr. Jenn

    This article was cross posted with permission from Dr. Jenn's Blog. *This article was originally posted to the Sex & Love Blog Series at Pacific San Diego Magazine.

    Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, is a sociologist, sexuality speaker, and sex therapist, with a passion for challenging people to sexually think outside the box.

    Dr. Jenn is a public speaker on topics including healthy relationships, love, gender, mindfulness, erotic play, and happiness. She counsels individuals and couples, in person and over Skype, to assist in creating and maintaining open communication and fulfilling intimacy. Dr. Jenn is a contributing writer for Pacific San Diego Magazine and is a sex and relationship expert on Fox 5 news and San Diego Living. Follow her on Twitter @DrJennsDen and Facebook.
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