Sex might feel like a topic you rarely bring up, especially with a doctor, but it’s perfectly normal. Pain during sex might not be something you want to talk about at all, but sometimes it’s necessary and never something you should be ashamed of. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, three out of four women will experience pain during sex during their lives. The problem is common, especially during menopause, but there are signs you should talk to a doctor if they occur.
Lube Doesn’t Help
When sex gets uncomfortable, lubricants are typically the first line of defense. Vaginal dryness is a common cause of uncomfortable sex, so if lubricants aren’t helping, there may be different underlying cause, such as hormonal changes, medications, or stress, that your doctor is best suited to identify.
Pain is Accompanied By Bleeding
For some women, bleeding after sex is not uncommon for women who still get their periods. However, if the spotting or bleeding happens simultaneously with the pain, it can mean something more serious. Sexually transmitted diseases or vaginal trauma due to intense dryness can cause bleeding, so it’s best if you check in with a doctor to discover the cause and a solution.
If burning or itching occurs when you urinate you may have a yeast infection or a common bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis. While some infections can be treated with over the counter solutions, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor first, especially if the infection requires a round of antibiotics.
Intense or Long-Lasting Pain
It can be tough to know when to contact a doctor, especially when pain is your only symptom. If you experience consistent discomfort or intense pain, it’s definitely time to talk to a physician. If your pain is also accompanied by trauma such as cuts or abnormal discharge, consult a doctor immediately. No matter your concern, it’s 100% okay to bring up your questions or concerns with a doctor at any time during the process.