Why does sex hurt?

Why does sex hurt?
Why does sex hurt?

Why does sex hurt is a common question we get as pelvic health physical therapists.

Pain during sex, also known as dyspareunia, can occur for various reasons, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the specific cause in individual cases.

Here are some common reasons why sex can be painful:

  1. Lack of Lubrication: Insufficient natural lubrication can lead to friction and discomfort during sex. This can be due to factors such as insufficient arousal, menopause, or certain medications.
  2. Vaginal Dryness: Vaginal dryness, often associated with hormonal changes (like menopause) or medical conditions, can cause discomfort or pain during intercourse.
  3. Infections: Infections such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause pain or discomfort during sex.
  4. Medical Conditions: Conditions like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or fibroids can lead to painful intercourse.
  5. Psychological Factors: Anxiety, stress, or psychological trauma can contribute to pain during sex by causing muscle tension or inhibiting arousal.
  6. Allergies or Sensitivities: Allergies to certain products, like latex condoms or spermicides, can lead to discomfort or pain.
  7. Injury or Trauma: Previous injuries or trauma to the genital area can result in pain during sex.
  8. Vaginismus: Vaginismus is a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily contract, making penetration painful or impossible.
  9. Sexual Dysfunction: Conditions like erectile dysfunction in men or sexual arousal disorders in women can lead to discomfort during intercourse.
  10. Menopause: Hormonal changes during menopause can result in vaginal dryness and thinning of vaginal tissues, leading to pain during sex.


It’s crucial to address any persistent pain during sex by consulting with a healthcare provider.

They can help identify the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment or guidance to alleviate the discomfort.

Open communication with your partner and seeking professional medical advice can lead to solutions that improve your sexual health.

Treatment options for dyspareunia

Pelvic floor physical therapy is valuable for those who experience dyspareunia. It can significantly improve quality of life and help individuals regain control and confidence in their health.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team in pelvic floor physical therapy to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Women’s Health Program.  This includes manual therapy and exercises to improve conditions related to the pelvic floor muscles.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!