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What to do When Intercourse Hurts

If pain during intercourse is something that plagues your relationship, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Harvard Health, millions of women suffer from painful intercourse before, during, and even after sex. 

At Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery, with locations in Passaic Park and Ridgewood, New Jersey, Charles Haddad, MD, and his team treat patients with compassion and discretion. If you have sexual health issues, they can help. In this blog, Dr. Haddad discusses some of the causes of painful intercourse and what can be done about it.

Causes of painful intercourse

Pain during intercourse is called dyspareunia, and there are many reasons you may experience this kind of discomfort.

Post-menopausal issues

Post-menopausal women may deal with painful intercourse because of a drop in hormone levels. Once estrogen decreases in your body, vaginal dryness can become an issue. Having sex without sufficient natural lubrication can cause friction, which can make intercourse painful.

Vaginal infections

The most common vaginal infection is a yeast infection. WebMD states that 75% of women will have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Other infections can include bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and allergies. Any of these infections can cause daily discomfort with vaginal discharge, burning, redness, itching, and painful intercourse.


Women with vaginismus experience painful intercourse because of vaginal muscle spasms. These spasms can make penetration uncomfortable and even extremely painful. Some common causes of vaginismus are anxiety or fear of intercourse.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

PID occurs when any of a woman’s reproductive organs are infected, including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and cervix. This kind of infection can make sex painful, and it can also causes fever, heavy discharges, and pain when urinating. PID may become serious quickly and include vomiting, fainting, and severe pain in your lower belly.


Endometriosis is a condition where uterine tissue grows in places outside of the womb. It can cause abdominal pain, heavy periods, and uncomfortable intercourse.

Diagnosis and treatment

It’s important to know that you don’t need to live with a problem that causes intercourse to hurt. Our specialists offer an extensive range of services that can help you better understand any underlying causes of painful sex. Our routine gynecology services include:

Once we identify the cause of the discomfort, we’ll design a treatment plan to get you well. We’ll provide a supportive environment for you to receive the help you need so you can create a lasting, intimate bond with your partner.

No one should live with painful intercourse. It can affect your self-esteem and your relationship, and we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery today.

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