pain during intercourse

Sexual intercourse is supposed to be a fun, intimate part of a loving relationship, and yet for some of us it can be painful.

If you experience occasional pain during intercourse, the chances are it is nothing to worry about – perhaps you just aren’t quite as aroused as you could be, or you are at the wrong stage in your menstrual cycle.

But if you are regularly in pain during or immediately after sexual intercourse, there may be something more worrying behind it.

It is important not to self diagnose – you should always see a GP, or a gynaecologist, to confirm any suspicions you may have. SureScan Women’s Health Clinic offers a full range of sexual health testing, advice and treatment options. You will be always seen by a consultant gynaecologist.

Here are some common culprits when it comes to painful intercourse for women:

1. Infection

This could be a common, easily treatable infection like thrush, or it could be something more complex – a sexually-transmitted infection such as chlamydia, for example.

It is always a good idea to put your mind at rest when it comes to STIs, so if you have had multiple sexual partners, or you haven’t had an STI screening for a while, do book in with SureScan Women’s Health Clinic to get it checked out.

Best case scenario, the result will come back clear, but if not, the earlier you get a diagnosis then the sooner you can start treatment.

2. Endometriosis

If painful intercourse is only one of a number of symptoms, including:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Unusually painful periods
  • Pain during bladder or bowel movements
  • Difficulty getting pregnant

Then it is worth getting those symptoms checked out by a doctor or by a consultant gynaecologist at SureScan Women’s Health Clinic. Diagnosis of endometriosis can take a long time, so if you have suspicions you should make them clear.

3. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease can be caused by an STI, such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea, or it can just occur spontaneously, from the bacteria that normally live in the vagina. Aside from pain during intercourse, symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy, painful periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Unusual vaginal discharge – often yellow or green

Again, if these symptoms sound familiar, it is important to get them checked out by a doctor immediately.

4. Irritable bowel syndrome

As unlikely as it may sound, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another common cause of painful intercourse. Other symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and/or cramping
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

Treatment for IBS is limited, but you should see a medical professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

If you are concerned about pain during or after intercourse, or think you may be suffering from one of the conditions mentioned above, please contact us to find out how we can help.