Do you experience painful sex? You’re not alone! According to statistics from the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, 75% of people with vaginas experience pain during sex at some point in their lifetimes. Sometimes this pain can stem from a lack of lubrication (Smooth Operator can help!), while more persistent pain can be indicative of more serious issues. It’s important to pay attention to your body and any symptoms that you experience during sex.
If you’re experiencing pain:
During external stimulation or superficial penetration
This can feel like a burning, ripping, localized pain. Any condition that responds negatively to friction could cause this; such as hemorrhoids or scarring from surgery or childbirth. Conditions that decrease lubrication of the vagina and vulva such as breastfeeding, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy can also make this type of sex uncomfortable. To increase your natural lubrication and provide the soothing effects of plant medicine, Quim’s Smooth Operator can help prevent or minimize this kind of pain before it starts while Happy Clam can be used regularly to support a healthy vaginal response as well as after the deed to calm swollen bits.
Only during certain positions
If you notice a relationship between certain positions and pain, try rocking your hips or adjusting your knees to see if relaxing your pelvic floor changes the sensation. The pelvic floor muscles are slack when the legs are together and the hips are neutral and are maximally stretched when the hips and knees are flexed and the knees are moved away from the body, like in a deep squat or in a happy baby pose.
During deeper penetration/thrusting
This might manifest as a dull ache or muscle cramp, which may be hard to locate, even reaching into the abdomen or hips. This kind of pain could be due to overactive pelvic floor muscles, or problems with the hips or the low back. The hip muscles share a fascial plane with the pelvic floor muscles—because they’re physically connected, one has the ability to affect the other. Deeper and internal self-massage may be helpful or you may want to consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist. If your pain is only provoked with very deep penetration, keep things comfortable by trying positions or modifiers that allow you to control your partner’s depth. And did we mention Smooth Operator??
Remember, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor, gynecologist, or pelvic floor therapist if sex has become too painful for you to enjoy, but we hope these tips—and our all-natural products—help you have a happier vagina and better sex! After all, Prevention didn’t rank us “best for pain relief” for nothing 😉