I want all women experiencing pain with sex, a little, a lot, at the beginning, or anywhere else in the process to —STOP.

There is help and there are many new ways to easily and effectively change a nightmare into something pleasurable and happily anticipated.

Women have pain for a variety of reason. Some of them are: past trauma related and relived in the present; dermatological problems; unbalanced hormonal states which disallow necessary vaginal health in the form of arousal, secretion, and more; rough and uneducated partners; individual lack of education about one’s own body; pelvic floor strengthening;after effects of pregnancies and surgeries; cancer, radiation; hysterectomy; and of course, crappy relationships.

So, not so simple.  But we are way more aware of these problems and how many women suffer. Its unfortunate that so much goes unsaid in the doctor or therapist’s office.  A bit more lately, but typically if the doc didn’t ask, the patient didn’t tell.  I’m not sure how much of that was because of shame, and how much was just because for many, sex/pain went together and were considered normal.

In a relationship, sexual pain takes on a life of its own. For one, a woman loses her willingness to accept affection thinking it will lead to sex. Another, grins and bears it, experiencing no real pleasure or orgasm. The body can play tricks too, expressing pain initially and in the heat of it, when the arousal takes over, pleasure and pain can get mixed up. Sometimes after a satisfying encounter, tiny cuts, abrasions, may appear causing painful urination and swelling.

For men, the whole thing is unfair. Its virtually impossible to initiate sex when the anticipated response is pain.  No man wants to express his sexual love for his partner knowing that his best efforts will cause pain and suffering. He retreats; he doesn’t have sex in his marriage; he may stray or more typically, he may get depressed.

Having said all this, it is important to seek out professionals who do not just say they undertand and can help, but who either specialize in vulvar pain or know someone who does. Doctors like to be helpful and too often they know too little about the issue and try to help anyway.  You, as a patient, need to do your homework. Be educated.

Start out knowing that help is available. You may have to travel a bit to find the right person.  Its worth it.

Google Andrew Goldstein MD for starters.

Until you get help, be sure to have some good lube nearby and some reputable internal moisturizer, like vagifem or Vit E suppositories. These are not the end of the journey, but a helpful beginning.

Do not have pain. Sex is about a lot of things——- pain is not one of them.

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