Sex Shouldn’t Hurt! A Doctor’s Advice for Solving Painful Sex for Women

Published on

 Sex Shouldn’t Hurt! A Doctor’s Advice for Solving Painful Sex for Women


Sex should feel good, right? But at times in a person’s life, sex can be uncomfortable, or possibly painful. 

Perhaps it hurts when thrusts are too hard or deep. Or, maybe your vagina seems to ache during sex. Does sex sometimes feel rough like scratchy sandpaper? 

Have You Experienced Painful Sex? 

You’re not alone. 30% of women in the U.S. report that sex hurts and according to a study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, painful sex was strongly associated with all sexual function problems. 


Why Does Painful Sex Happen? 

First, I feel it’s important to take time to check in with your own body. Where is the pain occurring? Is it near the entrance to your vagina or deeper inside? Does it hurt during sex the entire time or just at the beginning? 

The better you can pinpoint your areas of discomfort, the better you can determine which solution may work best for you. 

Painful sex can be caused by everything from a tilted uterus to dyspareunia to vaginismus to vulvodynia, which is why it’s encouraged to always check with a OB/GYN first.  


A Simple Painful Sex Solution? Try THIS Sex Position!

If the pain occurs when your partner thrusts too deeply, there is a particular sex position that can make thrusting sex more comfortable.

Have your partner enter you from behind when you’re bent over. In this position, your vagina is lengthened so it can better accommodate a longer penis or deeper penetration.

Try THIS Next


Lubricants can also make sex feel better.  

Natural vaginal lubrication can fluctuate throughout your life, so I suggest using a lubricant to reduce friction and increase comfort every time you have sex. 

Lubricants can provide a barrier during sex and when using sex toys, allowing for a more comfortable experience. Water-based lubricants are slippery and clean up easily. Silicone lubricant lasts longer and can have beneficial qualities for dry vaginal skin. 

Tip: I recommend to my patients that they create their own custom hybrid lubricant by combining a water-based lubricant and a small quantity of silicone lubricant. A little addition of silicone goes a long way in nourishing delicate tissue and allowing your water-based lubricant to last longer.

And be ready for a great surprise! A 2009 study by Indiana University discovered that using lubricant during sex alone or with a partner contributed to higher ratings of more pleasurable and satisfying sex.


You Miss Balls-Deep Thrusts

Sometimes, there’s something wonderfully primal about sex and being able to fully enjoy it. I have a simple solution for being able to accommodate, and enjoy, those thrusts. 

Solution: Stacking Thick, Stretchy Cock Rings 

That’s right, a thick, stretchy cock ring, or two, around the base of the penis shaft can act as a bumper!  

Stacking multiple C-rings around the shaft of the penis will limit the penis from fully entering the vaginal canal. Try multiple rings for a customizable experience. 

 This is an easy way to create your own bumper device to allow your partner to thrust, while stopping the penis or dildo, from penetrating too deeply.  


Consider More Foreplay

If you’re experiencing pain during sex, it could mean that you’re not properly aroused. 

For pleasurable intercourse, your body needs to be ready for it. That’s where foreplay can help! It can take a female body approximately 20-minutes for natural lubrication to take place. Foreplay helps the clitoris become engorged and the vagina properly prepare for penetration. 

The best way to find out what duration foreplay should last in your own relationship? Listen to your body and its response to foreplay. Ten minutes may work for you—or perhaps 25-minutes to where you’re wet and ready. 

And practice good communication with your partner. Yes, I understand sex can be an uncomfortable conversation topic, but it’s important to let your lover know that foreplay is an important part of your entire sexual experience. You’ll be surprised to find you and your partner will enjoy extended foreplay and, ultimately, more pleasurable sex.  


Clitoral Stimulation Can Increase Comfort… and Your Orgasm Opportunity! 

The clitoris isn’t just that small nub you see on the outside of your vulva. Your clit goes deep below the surface and can reach up to five inches in some women. 

What’s important to know is that most orgasms in women are clitorally-based, making clitoral stimulation during foreplay and sex essential to more pleasure. Incorporating a clitoral stimulator into your sex play can increase your opportunity to enjoy more orgasms. 

My suggestion? I love panty vibes because they easily slip into undies, in between bodies during sex, and can be operated by your lover when worn during foreplay. Panty vibes offer multiple ways to play while directly stimulating the clitoris. 

Another recommendation? Try suction. Research shows there are hardly any nerve endings inside the vaginal canal, while the clitoris is home to over 8,000 nerve endings. The clit can be extremely sensitive for some people, which is why your body may respond better to a suction stimulator rather than a vibrator. 

Clitoral stimulation, no matter which sex toy you choose, will attract more blood flow to your genital region and will help enhance vaginal lubrication. Plus, blood flow is important for the body’s sexual arousal, helping prepare you for better sex. 


You’re Ready for Pain-free Sex!

Now, you’re armed with several different ways to help sex feel good. 

What will you try first? Take a look at this recap list, then mix and match solutions that may bring you comfort and relief. 

Solution Recap List:

  • Sex Position to lengthen your vagina
  • Add plenty of Lubricant—and consider mixing water-based and silicone formulas
  • Stack stretchy cock rings for a bumper
  • Enjoy more foreplay
  • Embrace clitoral stimulation

Are you suffering from painful sex? Does sex not feel as good as you’d like it to? I would love to hear from you. Please share your experiences, questions, and concerns with me. I am here to help.

Related Products

Back To Ask Dr. Sunny Blog

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sunny Rodgers

This content was reviewed for accuracy and relevancy by Dr. Sunny Rodgers.

Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.