The main causes of painful intercourse

Sexual intercourse should be easy and pleasant. However, this is not the case for all women. Feeling pain during intercourse (called dyspareunia) is common and can be caused by several things.

VagiVital is proud of taking women’s intimate health seriously and the fact that over 50% of our users said they have become more sexually active after using VagiVital active gel for discomfort during intercourse.


Vaginal pain from intercourse can be caused by many things and there are different types of pain as well. If you are experiencing vaginal pain from intercourse these are several likely reasons behind it:

  • Vaginal dryness from menopaus, childbirth, breastfeeding, medication, or too little arousal before intercourse
  • Skin disorders
  • Infections, for example yeast or urinary tract infections
  • Injury or trauma
  • Vulvodynia
  • Vaginismus (involuntary contractions of vaginal muscles when attempting vaginal penetration)
  • Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina)
  • Endometriosis
  • Cystitis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Radiation and chemotherapy

Thereto, other factors that reduces sexual desire can also cause pain from intercourse:

  • Stress that can result in tightened muscles of the pelvic floor
  • Fear, guilt or shame related to sex
  • Self-image or body issues
  • Medication, for example birth control pills
  • History of sexual abuse or rape
  • Relationship problems
  • Health conditions such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and thyroid disease

Many women experience pain from intercourse at some point in their lives and since there are several possible underlying reasons, the treatment to ease the pain can be decided once you know what is causing it.


The reason behind the pain can be decided to some extent by the type of pain you are experiencing:

  • Pain from sexual penetration
  • Pain from all kinds of penetration, including putting in a tampon
  • Deeper pain from thrusting during intercourse
  • Burning or aching pain
  • Pain lasting hours after intercourse


If you are experiencing pain during penetration, there can be several underlying reasons:

  • Lack of lubrication

This is one of the most common causes and can be treated with VagiVital active gel

  • Injury or irritation

Can be caused by cuts from child birth or pelvic surgery for example

  • Inflammation, skin disorders or infections
  • Vaginismus

Spasms from vaginal wall muscle can cause pain from intercourse


Deep pain usually follows by deep penetration and can feel worse in certain positions:

  • Illnesses and certain conditions

Such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine prolapse, uterine fibroids, retroverted uterus, hemorroids, IBS and ovarian cysts

  • Surgeries or medical treatments


For many of us, sexual activity is intertwined with emotions. Emotional factors can also cause intercourse to be painful:

  • Psychological issues

Being depressed, having anxiety, worrying about physical appearance and fear of intimacy and relationships can contribute to low level of arousal which can result in discomfort from intercourse.

  • Stress

High levels of stress can cause your pelvic muscles to tighten which can result in painful intercourse.

  • Sexual abuse

If you have been sexually abused, this can cause intercourse to be painful.

It can be difficult to decide whether there are any emotional reasons behind painful intercourse. Feeling pain once can lead to fear of feeling pain again, which can become a vicious circle and cause intercourse to be both physically and emotionally hurtful.


Depending on what is causing the pain, there are different treatments. VagiVital active gel is not only a moisturizing gel, but has also been proved to ease pain from intercourse for many women. You can read the complete study here.

If your pain is caused by some type of infection, you might need to be treated with antibiotics, antifungal medicine or topical or injectable corticosteroids.

Long term medication can also cause vaginal dryness which can be an underlying reason for vaginal pain from intercourse. If you suspect this to be the case, ask your physician for help.


If you struggle with recurrent pain from intercourse, you should see your doctor. In addition to the physical pain, it can also affect your self-image negatively and harm your emotional availability. Remember that there are ways to get help and that it can be treated.

Read more about how VagiVital can help you