According to the landmark “Sex In America” survey (1994), sexual pain afflicts around 20 percent of American women—15 percent before menopause, 33 percent after. That’s such a shame. Except for consensual BDSM, sex should never hurt, not even the first time.
Many Possible Causes
Pain on intercourse has a myriad of possible causes, among them vaginismus, rushed lovemaking, insufficient lubrication, relationship distress, birth control pills, vulvar irritation, vulvar vestibulitis, oxalate irritation, sexually transmitted infections, a history of sexual trauma, and the man inserting too quickly or deeply.
Genital pain often requires professional care. But before consulting your gynecologist, I suggest obtaining a copy of Sex Without Pain by physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT. Jeffcoat is one of a small number of health professionals specializing in evaluating and treating female genital pain. Her supportive 75-page book debunks common myths (like, "Just relax"), and provides a simple step-by-step program that has cured many women’s pain in just a few months.