“Sex can be uncomfortable if you have a yeast infection because of an inflamed vulva. Sexual arousal also tends to increase vaginal moisture, which can exacerbate itching, discomfort, or burning with a combination of yeast discharge, “says Brito.
What to do: If you also experience itching and pain down there when urinating, call your gynecologist. Yeast infections are very common and there are many treatment options.
5. Family planning problems
Low-dose birth control pills (such as Yasmin, Levora, Estrostep and Ortho-Tri-Cyclen-Lo) can trigger cases of vaginal pain.
“This has to do with suppressing your own natural estrogen and testosterone, and replacing them with birth control, which is lower,” says Dr. Millheiser. This can make some women’s vaginal tissue thinner and drier – almost post-menopausal and make it more prone to irritation and pain.
What can be done? For the short term, Dr. Dweck suggests using lubricants. In the long term, talk to your doctor about changing your birth control prescription.
6. Your pelvic floor muscles are stiff
Young women who rarely exercise, often have stiff pelvic floor muscles.
What to do? A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you. Or an exercise as simple as deep breathing that can help you relax your pelvic floor muscles. Think of Kegel too, as well as change your sexual position so that you are more in control.
7. You feel stressed
Stress can strain your pelvic floor muscles, says Brito. “Because sex is about relaxation, stress will actually make it difficult for you and your partner to experience sexual pleasure.”
What to do? Try to set the mood with candles, massages, and sexy underwear … whatever your fancy. The key is to take your mind off stress.
8. Your skin reacts to certain products
If your pain occurs only after using certain products (such as condoms, or spermicides (such as nonoxynol-9), it could be that your pain is related to skin irritation from those products, says Dr. Dweck.
What to do? Get rid of the irritating product and look for the most natural alternative that is scent free.
9. You have a medical condition
Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes are all infections that can make sex (and consequently) uncomfortable, says Dr. Millheiser. So, if you have any unusual discharge or lesions down there, raise your concerns with an expert. The same is true for deep pain in your pelvis, which could signal cysts, fibroids, or endometriosis, says Dr. Dweck.
What to do? Consult with your doctor. The infection can be completely cured, and cysts and fibroids can be removed (if necessary). Additionally, conditions like endometriosis can be treated effectively – if diagnosed correctly.
“In general, pain that lasts more than 24 hours with bleeding after sex, unusual discharge, or smell, requires a gyno visit,” says Dr. Dweck.