Why sex hurts


Hi Springster,

“I’ve been sexually active for a while now, and lately it hurts when I do it. What’s up?”


Hello Rebecca,

You’re so brave for asking this question. Many of us girls are often uncomfortable or scared to ask about our bodies and sex. But asking questions is good because it helps you understand how your body works. Next time you’re thinking whether you should ask a question about sexual and reproductive health - remember you have a right to ask openly and freely.

Sex isn’t supposed to hurt or cause bleeding. When this happens, it’s your body’s way of saying “hey, I need a health check.” Here’s 3 reasons why sex may hurt:

1. Not enough lubrication

Sex becomes painful when you’re not getting enough lubrication. Lubrication is the moisture that our bodies produce naturally when we’re having sex. Lubrication shows that your body is aroused. Although, everybody is different, so sometimes you may be aroused and remain dry. Want to find out more? Visit a health clinic or pharmacy.

2. Sexually Transmitted Infections

There are also medical reasons like sexually transmitted infections. They cause pain during sex and usually come with other signs like a burning sensation when you pee and a discharge. If this is the case, you need to have a medical check-up. But don’t worry too much, most STIs can be treated successfully with medication.

3. Your vagina is inflamed

It could also be that your vagina has a tear, or that you have Vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is a condition where you experience pain and discomfort in the opening of the vagina, resulting in a burning, or stinging sensation. There is no treatment for this and doctors don’t know what causes it. Wearing cotton underwear, avoiding soaps and perfumed lotions and only washing your vagina with water can help to ease the discomfort.

If you feel ok in all these areas but still experience pain from time to time, perhaps you could try speaking to your partner to be more gentle during sex. Don’t carry on if the pain continues. Lastly, remember that when it comes to your body and your health, including that of your vagina, it’s always better to seek advice from an expert like a nurse or doctor.

If you are nervous about seeing someone in your community, try going to a different location or an area where no one knows you.