Why Does Sex Hurt?

Most of the time, sex shouldn’t hurt. Whenever we feel pain in our body it is a sign to our brains that we need to pay attention to something. Our bodies are designed to tell us when something is wrong and this usually comes through a pain signal.

So, there are a few common reasons why sex might hurt. Let’s break those down:

  • When a girl has sex for the first time, it can be a little painful because it’s completely new for a penis to enter your vagina. For some girls there can even be a little bleeding the first time because the hymen, which is a thin piece of skin covering the entrance to your vagina, gets broken. This doesn’t happen for everyone because you may have already torn the hymen with a tampon or by playing sports.

    You can make having sex easier and more comfortable the first time by having lubrication, being gentle, and going slowly, giving your body time to adjust and get aroused through foreplay. When we are aroused we relax and this can make penetration the first time a little easier.

    If it is not the first time you’ve had sex, but you have pain during sex there can be a few different reasons for this. It can be caused by an illness or infection, or it may be because of another physical or psychological reason. Both boys and girls can have pain during or after sex for one of these reasons.

  • Sex may be uncomfortable if you’re not relaxed and aroused. Penetration will be painful if the vagina is not lubricated. Foreplay will help with lubrication and you can also buy lubrication at a store.

    If you’re using condoms that aren’t made of latex, any kind of lubricant is fine. But don’t use oil-based lubricants (like lotion, body oil, or Vaseline) with latex condoms because they can damage the condom and make it more likely to split. The packaging should tell you what kind of condom you are using.

  • Sometimes girls or boys have pain with sex if they have an illness, like thrush or cystitis, or a sexually transmitted infection (STI), like herpes or chlamydia. Some of these can be treated with over-the-counter medications and some will need a prescription. If you have pain before or after sex you should see a doctor to get proper care. Doctors and other health professionals are there to help you and their advice and help can prevent further infection and alleviate your pain.

  • If you’re still finding it difficult to have sex, there may be an emotional reason causing you problems. It may help to speak to a counsellor, parent, or doctor, about any worries you have.

The most important thing to remember is that If you get pain during or after sex, your body may be trying to tell you something is wrong, so don’t ignore it. See a doctor. You might think it’s an embarrassing or taboo subject but remember that it’s never embarrassing for the doctor. It’s their job and they want you to be healthy and feel your very best.