75% of women experience sexual pain at some point. Yes, 75%. Why are we not talking about it more? We are told sex will hurt the first time, and for many that may be the case – but sex should not continually hurt. Why, as women, are we not told that we may experience pain during sex and that it is NOT normal?
There are many reasons a woman may experience painful sex – it could be a gynecologic problem such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Painful sex can also be due to vaginal dryness which can be caused by a lack of desire (the feeling of wanting to have sex) or a lack of arousal (the physical and emotional response of our bodies when we are sexually stimulated). It can also be due to past physical or emotional trauma.
Pain can be felt in your vulva, the perineum, and even your lower back, pelvic region, uterus or bladder. If you are experiencing sexual pain, you are not alone, it is not normal and there ARE treatment options for you. Women can experience painful sex at any age – if you feel that you are experiencing painful sex talk with your healthcare provider – you know your body better than anyone.
In this week’s episode, we are joined by one of our patients, Emily, who experienced painful sex. She shares her story – from trying to find information and support, to finding a healthcare provider who would listen to her, to the impact it had on her life and relationship, treatment, and her life now.