Ouch. Wait, yeah, ouch.
November 18, 2008 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Girlyparts/sexfilter: Why am I sore the next day? Possibly NSFW.

I am a female in her late twenties who has been having sex with men for over a decade. More times than not, my area down there is sore the next day after penetrative vaginal sex, and sometimes longer. This makes sex more than a few times a week uncomfortable. While that is enough for me, sometimes I would like to be able to have morning sex after a night of, um, night-sex. Or just have it again the next night. What’s the deal?

Factors that you might think are involved that I have ruled out:

1) Disease or disorder: There is no pain during sex (so no vaginismus or the like) and I have no STI’s (I am regularly tested).
2) Frequency: In the 10 years+ since losing my virginity, I have had a regular sex life. This soreness occurs whether I have been having frequent sex or am having sex for the first time after a short dry spell.
3) Condoms: I have had sex without condoms and with all varieties of condoms (lubed or not, spermicide or not, latex or not, etc). No allergies there.
4) Lube: I have had sex without lube and with many varieties of lube.
5) Partners: I have had a fair amount of partners of varying shapes and sizes. There has been no difference in soreness between partners. Ditto with toys.
6) Grooming: I have had a full on bush, and I have been bare (not sure why this would matter, but just in case).
7) Post-sex routine: I have rinsed, I have not rinsed (with soap or without).
8) The actual sex: I have had rough sex. I have had gentle slow sex. I enjoy many different positions.
9) Orgasm: I usually orgasm. Sometimes I don’t.
10) Other chemicals: I use none. No douching, no creams, no nothing down there.
11) Medication: I have been on hormonal birth control and not.
12) Clothing: I wear boring 100% cotton underwear (not thongs) and not-tight clothing.
13) Anatomy: As far as I am aware, my goods are normal. I have never had anyone (partner or doctor) state that I am unusual in anyway.
14) Birth: Haven’t ever been pregnant.
15) Etcetera: Interestingly, my anus is rarely sore after anal sex.

So what’s going on? I have no idea. I would say that the soreness occurs about 75% of the time, and (as evidenced above) it seems to not stem from anything specific. It’s not an unbearable pain, it’s just kind of uncomfortable, and sometimes I just have sex anyway and I can ignore the dull burn and enjoy myself. Specifically, the pain is right at the entrance to my vagina, around the edges. Not inside, and not much outside. Imagine something duller than what it feels like after some rough, long, or kind of dry sex (I know what those feel like and this isn’t that bad).

Is this normal? Anyone ever had a similar problem? Anyone have any recommendations or suggestions? Are there any factors I haven’t considered?

Throw away at aliasusername@gmail.com.

Thanks for any help!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

....I was going to say that maybe people are just bumping your cervix, except that you say that it's at the entrance to your vagina...

Hmm. The only thing I can think is that maybe you're just not using ENOUGH lube. I know you've said you've used it, but you don't say how MUCH you've used. If it's just been a dab or two, it could just be that you need to use even more, and keep re-applying it as it dries up. I tend to need a lot, myself (a couple of truly weird medical incidents led to this).

Even then, a BIT of soreness the morning after isn't entirely unusual, for me, at least. I just kind of grin and bear it, though. But I do tend to need a lot of lube, and the only thing I can think is that maybe you also just need to use a hell of a lot as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 AM on November 18, 2008

I'm gonna go with "use more lube" as well. Sounds like friction issues to me. Maybe you and your partner should both wax all hairs completely beforehand and use more lube to reduce friction. OK, the waxing is a bit extreme, but it still sounds like friction from the grinding.

Your anus is not sore becuase it conveniently has your booty to cusion it and less of a grinding motion.

You can test this theory by only doin' it doggie style at some point and see if you have less soreness.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:17 AM on November 18, 2008

Is your partner ejaculating inside or outside of your vadge, usually? I'm guessing both ways and that it doesn't seem to affect your soreness. But just in case, I've heard that sperm can be a bit acidic and leaving it in there too long can aggravate any small tears or anything that occurred during sex. But I didn't hear this from a doctor, just from anecdotes and talking to girlfriends and personal experience. With me, if my partner ejaculates inside me it gets all burny and stingy after a bit (and it's normal, not a sign of an STD or anything). So usually I have him pull out.

But the way you say "sore" makes me think it's more of muscle-exertion type soreness. If that's the case I don't know... you've already ruled out any possibilites I can think of.

Maybe this has something to do with your hymen? I assume a gyno would've said something to you if anything seemed unusual down there, but it might be worth asking about.
posted by thejrae at 9:05 AM on November 18, 2008

I’m not a girl, but my wife had some issues down there after sex.
After speaking with a doctor we concluded that my wife is actually allergic to my semen.
She washes out after sex now, stopped using Nair (for hear removal) and it helped.
posted by j.klein at 9:17 AM on November 18, 2008

An irritated urinary tract, perhaps? Cutting down on booze and switching to tea (instead of coffee) has done wonders for me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:33 AM on November 18, 2008

I have almost this same problem. Many doctors later, one determined that it was most likely a condition relating to a mild food allergy that for whatever reason, only noticeably showed itself as a painful (occasionally somewhat itchy) entrance to the vagina (with a slight cervical discharge). It would go from meh to quite uncomfortable after sex. The burning you've mentioned is exactly how it was for me. The gynecologist gave me a topical steroid to use and within two weeks it was better. Now I just use the steroid cream from time to time when it starts flaring up again, which is much easier than playing the figure-out-what-it-is-in-my-diet game.

Go to a gynecologist, and mention your problems. I bet she or he can get you the hookup.
posted by internet!Hannah at 9:52 AM on November 18, 2008

Is it maybe micro tears in the skin? This has just recently started happening to me, after years of no-problems sex.
posted by nile_red at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2008

After speaking with a doctor we concluded that my wife is actually allergic to my semen.

Nthing the possibility of this, probably coupled with general dryness. I have the same problem. It's much worse (much much much worse) if we don't use a condom/pulling out during the climax. More lube needed!

You might also have some sort of bacterial infection that would make you dryer/more easily irritated, so going to the doctor would be worth it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:30 AM on November 18, 2008

Mod note: This is a comment from an anonymous commenter.

1) Disease or disorder: There is no pain during sex (so no vaginismus or the like) and I have no STI's (I am regularly tested).

Despite 1) it's possible there's something else going on. I never had pain during sex but was always sore for about 3 days afterwards. I thought that was normal. Turned out I had Lichen Sclerosis which causes issues with the skin on the vulva. Don't google up photos of it, those are extreme cases and a lot of women with it look normal. Point is, I saw a gynecologist for years and no doctor or boy ever said I looked different and I didn't know that I did or that I shouldn't have the symptoms I did. In fact, I recently went to a dermatologist to get my meds re-filled and she said that if I hadn't had a biopsy she would have never diagnosed me with it. She only believed me because she trusted my previous doctor.

I doubt that this is what you have because you aren't describing many of the other symptoms. I just wanted to put it out there for other people reading this thread in the future. Most gynos, doctors etc. do not know about this disorder (which is not contagious or a STD) and it causes a lot of women years of misery before they get help. Most doctors who do know about it believe it only affects post-menopausal women although I was diagnosed at 22 and the message boards are overflowing with women under 35. So if you are really sore, have tearing skin, atrophy, itching or a lot of dryness don't assume it's normal, get it checked out.

I also use a topical steroid (like internet!Hannah) and an estrogen cream. I've heard of some people thinking that diet can help (a food allergy? I don't know) but LS is generally thought to be an autoimmune disorder, although no one knows for sure. (anon because I don't usually like talking about my vulva to strangers.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

My uterus is tilted. I was not told this until the fourth or fifth time I went in for a pap. I switched obgyns frequently and when i was finally told she was like "oh, and by the way..." apparently she (or any other gynos) didn't think it was very important, but when I looked online for tips, much of my discomfort went away.

Also, try kegels. Making your muscles stronger and more controlled can't hurt and might even help.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:24 PM on November 18, 2008

I meant to add... that it since it is occurring on the other end from the uterus, it wouldn't be that, but it might be something that your obgyn thinks isn't a big deal until you mention to them that there is discomfort after sex. Have you mentioned this to your obgyn?
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:29 PM on November 18, 2008

Chronic low-level yeast infection
Chronic low-level bacterial infection
You know how a rash itches before you realize you have a rash, because it isn't red and inflamed yet? The rash is not apparent, but it is there.
Try boric acid and Vitamin E suppositories. Eat a lot less sugar.
If nothing works, you have vestibulitis.
posted by serena15221 at 8:46 AM on November 28, 2008

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