Aunt Vadge: I have deep vaginal pain during and after sex

Hi Aunt Vadge,

I’m having a deep pain during sex. I have never had this before and it’s quite severe. It doesn’t feel like a surface pain and I usually feel the pain near my lower abdomen.

I’m experiencing pain hours afterwards that feel like menstrual pain, but I’m still a at least 2.5 weeks away from my period. I am currently taking birth control. I have been tested for STIs and I don’t have any. My partner is my only sexual partner and I’m his only sexual partner.

I was just wondering why I could be experiencing this pain? Is it an infection and should I be worried?

Sincerely,
Deeply Pained
Age: 18
Country: Canada

Dear Deeply Pained,

Deep pain during sex can be caused by a few things, but none of which I can predict from here. You are going to need to go and be examined by first your doctor, and then depending on what is discovered (including nothing), you may be referred to a pelvic physiotherapist or specialist gynaecologist.

  • One cause of deep vaginal pain can be tight pelvic floor muscles, which can be corrected with relaxation exercises, posture correction, learning how to breathe properly, etc.
  • You may also have endometriosis, which can result in pain from adhesions and inflammation mid-cycle.
  • You may have a cyst or growth in your reproductive tract that is causing pressure-related pain, as the penis pushes upwards.
  • It could be pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), with cervicitis or other deeper infection (though you’d probably have other symptoms like discharge).
  • It could be related to your bowel, and not your vagina or reproductive tract except by proximity.
  • There are many options, but you need to be examined thoroughly to find the cause!

When pain suddenly starts where it didn’t exist before, it means that something has changed, so it’s figuring out what. A change could be caused be something out of your direct control (like a growth) or it could be something that is easy to fix with a few tweaks to your posture in the day or a short stint of medication.

Go to the doctor and get checked out. They’ll have a plan in place for people just like you, to figure out what’s wrong, using scans, blood tests, and other diagnostic equipment to see exactly what could be causing the pain. You will then be offered treatment options appropriate for you.

Sorry I can’t be much help from here, but some problems we just can’t hypothesise too far on without any extra information!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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