We always aim for feel-good sex, but sometimes, the truth is that sex hurts—especially for women. In fact, research finds that some 30 percent of women experience some pain during vaginal intercourse and about 72 percent experience some pain during anal intercourse. Those are pretty substantial figures. Worried your sex doesn’t feel quite right?
Here, Men’s Health’s sex advisor Debra Herbenick, Ph.D., M.P.H., a professor and director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University Bloomington explains why sex can be painful for women and, most importantly, how to bring pleasure back to the bedroom—and send pain packing.
MensHealth.com (MH): Why can sex hurt her?
Debra Herbenick (DH): For vaginal intercourse, often the reasons are aggressive thrusting or sex without a lot of warm-up or build-up—and a lack of sufficient lubrication. (Most women require about 10 to 15 minutes of foreplay. A sex position such as Doggy Style that feels really deep and hits against the cervix or one that doesn’t fit well with your bodies can result in pain, too.
There are also different times of life. Two-thirds of women who are breastfeeding have significant pain during intercourse or vaginal penetration because they have lower levels of oestrogen and therefore less vaginal lubrication and less flexible vaginal walls in general.
MH: So how can you make sure