Why Does Sex Hurt After Not Having It For awhile?

If you’ve gone without sex for awhile, it can feel strange and uncomfortable when you do try to get down. But it’s important to remember that pain shouldn’t be a normal part of sex.

If sex hurts, you might have one of these problems: You’re not relaxed. Your pelvic floor muscles might be tense or tight, and this makes it painful for the penis to enter.

Dryness

Vaginal dryness can occur due to many reasons, including medications such as retinoids (used for acne), glucocorticoids and hormones used in birth control or to treat conditions like fibroids, endometriosis and uterine prolapse; hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause; being overweight; aging; and certain health issues, such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis.

During sexual penetration, the lack of vaginal lubrication can cause pain and discomfort. This is because friction and rubbing are increased without the proper amount of lubrication. The good news is that this is usually a temporary issue and can be corrected with lubrication, foreplay and making sure you are both aroused before penetration.

Pain during sex can also occur because of scars from prior childbirth, surgery or other ailments, or a hymenal ring that isn’t fully open. Additionally, genital pain can occur due to medical conditions, such as herpes or gonorrhea. It’s also possible to feel pain because of psychological factors, such as guilt or fear, or phantom pain from past physical trauma or abuse. If this is the case, counseling or treatment may help. Symptoms can be lessened with the use of a lubricant, foreplay and using position changes. If the pain persists, talk to a doctor. They can prescribe creams, gels and medicines that increase estrogen levels, which can help alleviate symptoms.

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Anxiety

If you’ve gone through a long break without having sex, it’s possible that anxiety can interfere with your ability to orgasm. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including mental barriers that you’ve created in your mind about sexual activity. If this is the case, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional and work on ways to manage your stress, anxiety, and depression.

A common reason that sex hurts after you’ve gone a long time without it is due to an lack of lubrication. This can be easily remedied by using a lubricant, increasing foreplay, and getting into different sexual positions.

You may also experience pain after sex because of friction from certain sexual positions, or because you’re in an uncomfortable position. For example, you might feel discomfort if you’re in the doggy style, or if your knees are sore from an injury or medical condition.

Sometimes a painful experience can trigger a panic attack, which can lead to you feeling anxious about sexual intercourse. This can be dangerous and can make sex not feel as good as it should. Seeing a psychiatrist or therapist can help you manage your anxiety and learn how to avoid it, even during sex. This is the best way to make sure that your sex life feels as good as it should.

Vaginal infection

Vaginal infections are common, and they can occur for many reasons. The most common type of infection is bacterial vaginosis (BV). This occurs when there is an overgrowth of the bacteria that normally live in your vulva and vagina. BV can cause itching, vaginal discharge with a fishy or bad odor, and painful urination.

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A yeast infection is also quite common and occurs when the healthy balance of yeast in the mucous membranes that line your genitals gets disrupted. Yeast is naturally present in the body, but when the healthy balance is disturbed by things like antibiotics, oral sex with a new partner, or lube, it can lead to an infection. Yeast infections are usually accompanied by a whitish, thick, chunky discharge that can have a fishy smell or a slight odor.

Noninfectious causes of vaginitis can include vaginal sprays, douches or spermicides that can cause an allergic reaction or irritate the vulva and vaginal tissue. Vaginal irritation can also occur if there is prolonged exposure to moisture in the vulva and vagina, such as sitting too long in a bath or wearing tight pants. Changes in hormones can also cause irritation, such as when a woman is pregnant or after menopause. Yeast and bacterial infections can be prevented by avoiding irritants, keeping the vulva and vaginal area as dry as possible, washing tampons and pads frequently, wearing cotton underwear, and rinsing and changing after sexual activity.

Pregnancy

Some women become so focused on their new role as a mother that sex isn’t a priority. This can be a short-lived phase and a return to normal libido usually occurs during the second trimester of pregnancy. However, it’s also common for the uterus to get in the way of certain sexual positions or make sex feel less satisfying. Using an anal lubricant, increasing foreplay and adjusting the position can alleviate this problem.

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Other causes of pain during sex include friction from scars from childbirth or prior surgery on the vagina and perineum; anal thrush or other conditions that affect the throat, lips or mouth; a herpes infection; and psychological factors, such as guilt or fear about hurting the baby. If pain is occurring, it’s important to talk with a health care provider and ask for an evaluation.

No one should have sex that feels uncomfortable or painful. If it becomes an ongoing problem, seek help from a counselor at a Planned Parenthood health center. For more information on the health of the genitals, talk to an OB-GYN or pelvic floor specialist or a sex therapist. And remember, it’s never a good idea to have unprotected sex because that could cause complications during pregnancy, including preterm labor. If you are concerned that your sex drive has decreased or you’re having trouble with intimacy, be patient and try to find ways to bond that don’t involve sex, such as cuddling under the covers, going on walks together or giving each other massages.

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