oh yea, oh yea, oh, OW?
December 3, 2009 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Yet another pain-during-intercourse question for girls.

With my last 2 partners (neither which are the biggest I've ever been with) I've experienced pain during sex. It's caused by the penis rubbing the 'taint' right where the 'back' entrance to the vagina is, usually happens after a few minutes, depending on position and wetness. It is much worse for from-behind positions, because of the constant rubbing, and even when I am really wet it starts hurting after a while because of the friction and the pressure on that part. I'm thinking it's more pressure than friction, because water doesn't sting, so it doesn't feel like it was rubbed into a rash, but feels more like a bruise, in a way.

After having sex twice in one day, it usually hurts even when I barely touch it (as in the shower), and I need about 2 days before I can have pain-free sex again.

This is annoying, because I like sex and would love to do it if not twice a day, then at least once a day without any pain to follow, and sadly, with this problem, any sex lasting more than 15 minutes is impossible. I never had this problem with the guy I was with before (who was slightly bigger than the current guy), we were doing it 3x/day and there was no pain. The only difference is that this is 2 years later (I'm 25). Aside from this problem, everything feels good and the way it should, I have enough natural lubrication, no STDs.

The reason I'm not going to the gyno for this is because what's she gonna tell me - try positions that don't hurt (missionary only? no thanks!), more lube (I'm OK there), and don't have sex too often (blah)?

Has anyone experienced this and figured out a good solution?

posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Even if you producing plenty of moisture on your own, lube helps.

If you try a good lube and it does no good, go to your doctor to make sure you don't have an infection, yeast or otherwise, as that could cause pain as well.
posted by SuzySmith at 7:06 PM on December 3, 2009

more lube (I'm OK there)

Probably not, if you're having perineal irritation (the technical term for what you're talking about here). Try using a good lube, as SuzySmith suggests, and see if it helps.

Also, you may be getting perineal irritation from something else--soap, shaving cream, who knows. You might want to try addressing that independently by changing products and/or using perineal wash on the area.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:11 PM on December 3, 2009

i absolutely have this problem. for me, it seems like the skin that attaches my lips together at the bottom of my vulva is larger or higher than most girls. the worst is when a guy pulls out a little to far and then pushes back in. it's like that flap of skin can create an iron clad door. before i figured it out, i use to tear that piece of skin all the time (owowowow!).

like you, i have ~plenty~ of natural lubrication. i've found some relief by starting sex slower, as in, don't do the heavy pounding stuff until about 5 minutes in. i also take control of insertion, so i can sort of move that part out of the way and make sure that there is a clear entry.

i've found that it has nothing to do with the size of a guy, as much as it does the natural angle of his cock. i also think it gets worse with sweat and too much natural lubrication, so sometimes midway through sex i'll do a wipe down and start again.
posted by nadawi at 7:11 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Use a smaller vibrator or a dildo for a little while first.
posted by NoraReed at 7:18 PM on December 3, 2009

i am going to disagree strongly with "Even if you producing plenty of moisture on your own, lube helps." i can count on two hands the number of times that lube has been helpful during sex. i create enough moisture for 5 girls and i have this problem. for me it's not a dryness irritation, it's a swelling/large lip problem and feels more like bruising than a rash.

also, for some women (myself included) lube adds its own wealth of irritation problems. slippery kitty is the best of the options (it lacks the irritants/sugar that most lube has), but lube isn't the end all, be all answer for some of us.
posted by nadawi at 7:19 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I had a similar problem. It is actually a condition called Vaginismus where the muscles of the pelvic area are contracted and/or atrophied to the point that they are in a continuos spasm. My gyno sent me to a physical therapist. The PT helped me a lot to the point I rarely have pain anymore. It took almost a year of many different pelvic floor exercises, much more involved than Kegels, but it worked. I do not know if this is what is affecting you, but you may want to ask your doctor about it.

Here's a Wiki entry about it.
posted by ratita at 7:32 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

yes. go to the gyno. i saw a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic floor rehabilitation--it will probably be the weirdest thing you ever do, but it really will help. what's probably been happening is that, for whatever reason, you've been tensing some muscles unconsciously and aren't able to relax them anymore.

also, in the short term, you can get a prescription for lidocaine gel that will numb that part of your skin.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:56 PM on December 3, 2009

I have exactly this. It's called vulvar vestibulitis. I have had great success with zylocaine gel. You need 5% though. 2.5% did nothing for me. In Canada, you can get it over the counter. Rub it on the parts that will hurt and wait for a few minutes--it will numb those parts without messing with the pleasure parts.

Gynos were useless for me. USELESS. This is not uncommon. You need to find someone who specializes in this. There are many support groups on the web. Good Luck.
posted by Toto_tot at 8:05 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Many people with vaginismus also have vulvar vestibulitis (VVS), but what you're describing — irritation — probably isn't vaginismus itself. Maybe you have both, but it really sounds like you should get checked out for VVS. If you suspect your gyno will be useless for this (and most really, really are), try to find one who specializes in pelvic floor disorders.
posted by thisjax at 12:07 AM on December 4, 2009

This may be a bit off the wall, since it's normally used to prepare for natural childbirth, but have you considered perineal massage?

As a pp has mentioned, I've noticed this problem is attributable not so much to the size of my partner, but the angle of his penis, and how slowly we start. Being that a slower, more sensual start is usually helpful, I could imagine something like perineal massage might help since it promotes relaxation in the area.
posted by sunshinesky at 4:54 AM on December 4, 2009

I would make a gyn appointment, seconding possible vulvar vestibulitis and licocaine can help. Two things to think about and tell your doctor: is this new? As in, have you been able to have pain-free sex previously? And, do removing tampons hurt also? Your gyno should do a yeast culture, first, to rule out yeast. Good luck.
posted by teragram at 6:04 AM on December 4, 2009

Also, you may be getting perineal irritation from something else--soap, shaving cream, who knows. You might want to try addressing that independently by changing products and/or using perineal wash on the area

Also check guy's soap/products combo too.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:17 AM on December 4, 2009

Do you have any swelling or bumps down there? Your bartholin's glands are located at the back end of your vulvar area, and they can become irritated, plugged (forming a bartholin cyst), or even infected (which can form an abscess). This may be a long shot, but everybody else has already suggested the other things I thought of.

In general, if you are skipping the doctor because you assume she is going to tell you to try X and Y... Try X and Y, rather than assuming they won't help. Maybe they'll do some good, but if not you can tell the doc straight away what you've already tried so she can move on to more useful suggestions. If your gyno told you to only do missionary or not have sex more than once a day, without working really hard to find some other source of your pain, I would definitely recommend finding a new gyno.
posted by vytae at 9:36 AM on December 4, 2009

Lube, sure, yeah. Specifically, try a very small amount of silicone lube directly on the area that gets irritated, before it becomes irritated.

more lube (I'm OK there)

It's not the quantity, it's the slipperiness. Some people take the idea of lube very personally, but it's just something new to try. Why not give it a shot and see if it solves this problem?
posted by yohko at 2:54 PM on December 4, 2009

notagirl, but I've heard of hairs (usually the woman's) causing similar problems for a few women. Perhaps a relevant adjustment would pay off.
posted by NortonDC at 7:47 PM on December 4, 2009

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