5 reasons women find sex painful. And how to solve it Advertisement

5 reasons women find sex painful. And how to solve it

Get yourself treated so that you can treat yo’self

By ELLE team  August 10th, 2017

Sex doesn’t always end in glowing skin and a cigarette. The painful truth is that sometimes it hurts. Not the good kind of pain but the straight up,”do people actually do this for fun?” kind of pain. A study found that 30% of women experience pain during sex for a variety of reasons, from endometriosis (which Padma Lakshmi famously detailed in her book) to dryness that could be the result of a medical condition like hormonal changes or bad behaviour, like your partner’s lack of foreplay.

Sometimes, it’s simply that you haven’t found what works for you yet, and the easiest way out is to have an honest conversation with your partner. Whatever the source of the problem, there’s no reason for you to suffer in silence or pretend that you’re enjoying it when you’re clearly not. 

5 reasons why sex is painful for women


That sandpaper feeling you’re getting at the time of penetration is caused by dryness. “One of the main reasons for dryness is menopause,” explains our favourite gynaecologist Dr Gandhali Deorukhar. Water-based lubricants can be used to help get those juices flowing. But menopause isn’t the only reason; hormonal changes, certain medications and even products can make that tropical destination a desert ecosystem. In case your gynac has ruled out all these possibilities, you may want to take a good hard look at your sex life. The stereotypical fact of the matter is that women need more foreplay than men. Insufficient stimulation is the most common reason for dryness. Take your time, get into the mood, don’t be afraid to ask your partner for the tongue-in-your-ear-thing that makes your toes curl. Foreplay helps you get ready physically and emotionally for sex and will help you reach an orgasm better. Less faking it and more making it, ladies.

Retroverted uterus

No, it’s not a socially anxious uterus. A retroverted uterus is simply one that tilts towards the back rather than towards the front. Some women may find positions like doggy style more painful as the penetration is deeper. So maybe try a position where you have more control over the depth of penetration. Cow-girl or even reverse cowgirl leaves you in charge and lets you discover what works for you.

Latex allergy, UTI, Yeast infections

Dr Gandhali informs us that latex allergies used to be more common but are much rarer now (we hope all you ladies are still staying safe). Itching or inflammation can make sex painful and unpleasant. Symptoms extend beyond pain during sex to urination. Consult a doctor to get to the root of the pain as you could be putting you and your partner at risk. 


Your body has just created another human being, may be give it a rest. Dr. Gandhali suggests taking a 6-8 week rest and restorative period. Your sleep schedule isn’t the only thing disrupted after having a baby. Vaginas change too. Sometimes, the skin may get cut or torn during natural childbirth, give your body time to heal during the postpartum period. 


“Endometriosis occurs when the type of tissue normally lining the uterus starts growing outside the uterus. Many women don’t even know they have this condition.” Don’t be afraid to consult your gynaecologist, not just so you can have pleasurable sex but so you can receive medical treatment. “Many times, cysts can also form which may need to be surgically removed.” Dr. Gandhali urges you to listen to your body and heed the warnings. Endometriosis affects 7 percent of women. Many women also experience pain at the time of ovulation, so communicate with your partner on what works for you.