Q: What do I do about pain during intercourse?

If you have pain during intercourse, you need a good, thorough physical exam to start, to make sure there is no obvious cause for the pain with penetration (for example, vulvodynia/vestibulodynia). If the exam doesn't identify any apparent physical cause, you might spend some time on MiddlesexMD's recipe for sexual health, walking through each component to see what makes a difference:
  • Understand the physiology of menopause so you understand what you're compensating for.
  • Learn to care for your vulvo-vaginal tissues, including considering moisturizers or lubricants.
  • Compensate for less sensitivity in genital tissues with more stimulation -- and more patience!
  • Maintain pelvic floor muscles to encourage circulation and maintain orgasms.
  • Attend to emotional intimacy -- because the brain is a vital part of arousal for women.
Our website is structured to help you learn about and address each of these topics; just follow the tabs across the top. You'll need patience to figure out what combination of strategies will work for you, but continued use of the vagina is recommended for continued sexual activity. Avoidance because of pain only makes matters worse. Be in touch if you have questions as you explore possible approaches to get past this pain. It's worth the time you spend!

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