Pain After Sex: What Can it Be?

If you begin to regularly feel soreness around your vaginal area after you’ve had sexual intercourse, it’s important to see a Vulva Pain Specialist. They will be able to ascertain the cause of the pain, & give you a correct diagnosis. After this, if you have a specific condition, such as Vulvodynia, they will devise a holistic Personalised Treatment Plan which could include both conventional & the latest cutting-edge treatments

Potential Causes

There are a number of issues that can create soreness in the vaginal area after penetrative sex. These include, but are not limited to:

• Insufficient lubrication: When a woman becomes aroused, her body releases natural lubrication. However, in some instances, the amount of lubrication that is secreted is not sufficient. This could lead to minute microscopic tears in the vagina, which can generate discomfort and pain

• Vigorous or Prolonged Sex: If the sexual penetration gets a bit raunchy, then it is commonplace to experience some discomfort and pain both around the vulva, and in the vagina, where the sensitive tissue becomes inflamed. The same scenario can also come about from using sex toys, and even fingers

• Allergic Reaction to Lubricants and Condoms: An allergic reaction to lubricants, latex condoms, or other products that you bring into the bed, may well lead to pain down below. Furthermore, they could also create genital irritation in the vulva. (Of note, if anything is inserted into the vagina, the pain could travel up into the canal)

• Vulvodynia: This is a long-term condition (three months-plus), that creates pain in the vulva. In addition to this, as the vulva is extremely sensitive, soreness around the opening of the vagina may also come about post-sex

• Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Experiencing vaginal pain during sex, could be the first sign of a sexually transmitted infection such as genital herpes, gonorrhoea, or chlamydia. If you have not been recently tested, visit your Vulva Specialist who will give you a STI screening. If your results are negative, your Vulva Pain Consultant will conduct other tests and scans, and if necessary, give you a physical examination to determine the root cause of your vulva pain

• Yeast Infection: Pain in the vagina or vulva, post-sex, is one of the most common yeast infection symptoms

• Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): A urinary tract infection does not just involve feeling pain while urinating, it can also generate pain in the pelvis and vaginal area. If a woman has sexual intercourse at the same time as having a urinary tract infection, she could experience additional inflammation and irritation [1].


[1]. Holland, K. (2019). “What Causes a Sore Vaginal Area After Sex?.” Healthline.