Why sex hurts.

Your thoughts (108) Ouch!

Hi Springster,

“I’ve been sexually active for a while now, and lately it hurts when I do it. What’s up?” Thanks, Phephile.

Hello Phephile. You’re so brave for asking this question. Many girls and women are uncomfortable or scared to ask about our bodies and sex. Yet that’s what we should be doing more of, so we understand how our bodies work. Next time you wonder whether you should ask a question about sexual and reproductive health - remember this is your right.

Sex isn’t supposed to hurt or cause bleeding. When this happens, it’s your body’s way of saying “hey, I need a health check.” Sex becomes painfully when you’re not getting enough lubrication. This the moisture that our bodies produce naturally when we’re having sex. Lubrication shows that your body is aroused. Still, our bodies are different, so sometimes you may be aroused and yet remain dry. Try using a water-based lubricant, which is safe to use with condoms. They’re sold at Clicks and pharmacies.

There are also medical reasons like sexually transmitted infections. They cause pain during sex and usually come with other signs like a burning sensation when you pee and a discharge. If this is the case, you need to have a check-up. And don’t worry too much, STIs can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

It could also be that your vagina has a tear, or that you have Vulvodynia. This causes pain and discomfort in the opening of the vagina, resulting in a burning, or stinging sensation. There is no treatment for this and doctors don’t know what causes it. Wearing cotton underwear, avoiding soaps and perfumed lotions and only washing your vagina with water can help to ease the discomfort.

Lastly, remember that when it comes to your body and your health, including that of your vagina, it’s always better to seek advice from an expert like a nurse or doctor.

If you are nervous about seeing someone in your community, try going to a different location or an area where no one knows you.

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