I’m a gynaecologist and here are the 7 common reasons why sex might be painful 0 503

SEX should be an enjoyable experience, but for some people it can be painful.

While you might feel embarrassed to go to your GP and talk about issues that occur beneath the sheets, it’s nothing to get red-faced about.

Getty Images – GettyIf you’re in pain after having sex then it could be due to a number of reasons[/caption]

Speaking to The Sun, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at London-based MyHealthcare Clinic, Dr Shree Datta said she often sees women who are experiencing pain during intercourse but feel embarrassed to talk about it. 

She highlighted a paper which was published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which found that nearly one in ten British women experience pain during sex.

Dr Datta said: “There are many reasons why sex might be painful. 

“I think women really struggle to seek help when experiencing pain during sex.

“The important message here is that if you’re suffering with frequent pain then you should speak to a doctor.”

Dr Datta has outlined the seven common reasons as to why you might be bleeding during sex and when you should seek medical attention.

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1. After childbirth

Having a child is an amazing experience but it takes a huge toll on a woman’s physical and mental health.

If you’ve had a natural birth and not a c-section then Dr Datta said it’s likely you may have experienced some tears.

She explained: “These can take around 6 to 12 weeks to heal. But even beyond that, new mums can experience discomfort for up to six months. 

“After childbirth the vagina may feel more swollen and may be more sensitive to touch or pressure. This should improve over time. 

“If you are struggling with pain, speak to a health professional to check any stitches are healing properly.”

Dr Datta said that sometimes manual massage can help with nerve sensitivity, after the initial healing.

She added: “It’s also important not to rush into anything. Take things at your own speed, it’s perfectly normal to feel tired and have a lower libido after having a baby.”

2. An infection

Dr Datta said that one of the most common reasons for pain during sex is an infection.

This could be an infection like thrush or a sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia.

Dr Datta said: “An infection can make sex feel really uncomfortable and sore. If you think you are suffering from thrush then over-the-counter medication is available. 

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“If you think you might have a sexually transmitted infection, speak to your GP, see your gynaecologist or a health professional at your local GUM clinic who will be able to diagnose and provide treatment.

“Getting an infection sorted early is really important, as some may lead to long-term problems if untreated, so please don’t delay speaking to someone.”

3. Menopause

The menopause usually affects women in later life and creates hormonal changes in the body.

These changes can cause more dryness in intimate areas and can make sex feel uncomfortable. A loss of libido is also common. 

Dr Datta said: “Oestrogen and progesterone levels drop during the menopause so it’s very common for women to experience vaginal dryness. 

“Because of many other symptoms, such as a lower libido, night sweats which can cause problems sleeping, and a low mood, sex can become much less pleasurable during this time. 

“Talk to your GP about ways you can manage your symptoms.”

4. Lack of arousal

Sometimes it might take a bit longer than normal to help you get aroused.

Dr Datta said that sex can be painful if you’re not fully aroused as muscles are tense and you might be a little drier.

If you need help in that department then you can talk to your partner about when helps you get aroused or even try a lubricant.

Dr Datta added: “Changes to libido are common but there may be an emotional reason why you don’t find sex as pleasurable as you once did. 

“Counsellors or sex therapists can help you through these problems.”

5. Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition where muscles around the vagina contract and can make penetration impossible, this can be both distressing and frustrating.

Dr Datta said: “Vaginismus is an automatic reaction which you have no control over. If you experience difficulties with penetration, struggle to insert a tampon or suffer from pain or stinging during sex, these could be symptoms.”

6. Endometriosis

Experts have previously said that endometriosis is one of the conditions medical professionals find the most difficult to diagnose.

Dr Datta said that for some women, pain during sex can be a sign of endometriosis.

She added: “Other symptoms can include painful periods or lower abdominal pain. 

In these cases, she states: “On average, women can wait 8 years before being diagnosed with endometriosis – so speak to your GP and ask for a referral to your gynaecologist early”

7. Allergies

If you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable down there and sex is painful then it could be down to allergies caused by certain products – such as latex condoms.

Dr Datta said: “General irritation can be caused by many products, even down to the type of underwear and soap we use. 

“Latex condoms and spermicides can also provoke an allergic reaction. If you’re suffering from general pain, discomfort or itching, speak to a doctor who will examine you and be able to help.”

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The Challenges

  1. Stigma and Shame

The porn industry is still stigmatized, and performers can face a lot of shame and judgment from society. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, making it difficult for performers to seek help and support when needed.

  1. Pressure to Perform

Performers in the porn industry are expected to meet certain expectations and perform at their best every time. This pressure can be overwhelming and can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

  1. Isolation and Loneliness

Performing in the porn industry can be a lonely experience, with performers spending long hours on set or on their own, away from friends and family. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can take a toll on mental health.

  1. Trauma and Abuse

The porn industry is not immune to issues such as sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation. Performers may experience these traumatic events, leading to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Strategies for Coping

Seek Professional Help

Performers in the porn industry should seek professional help and support when they need it. There are many therapists and counselors who specialize in working with performers in the industry and can help with issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is crucial for performers in the porn industry. Taking breaks when needed, exercising, and practicing mindfulness and meditation can help performers manage stress and promote mental wellbeing.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Having a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues can make a big difference in performers’ mental health. Surrounding yourself with people who understand the challenges of the industry and offer non-judgmental support can help performers cope with the stresses of the job.

Address Trauma and Abuse

Performers who have experienced trauma and abuse in the industry should seek support and address these issues head-on. This may involve therapy, reporting incidents to the authorities, and taking legal action if necessary.

Conclusion

The porn industry poses significant challenges to performers’ mental health, from stigma and shame to pressure to perform and trauma and abuse. However, with the right strategies, performers can cope with these challenges and maintain good mental wellbeing. Seeking professional help, practicing self-care, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and addressing trauma and abuse are just a few strategies that can help performers in the porn industry maintain good mental health.

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Consent and boundaries are crucial aspects of the porn industry, and it’s essential for newcomers to understand how to navigate these issues. In this article, we’ll provide a guide for those who are new to the industry on how to approach consent and boundaries in a professional and respectful manner.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that consent is always required in the porn industry. This means that every actor must give explicit and enthusiastic consent to any sexual act that is portrayed on camera. Consent can be given verbally or non-verbally, but it must always be clear and enthusiastic.

In order to ensure that consent is obtained, communication is key. Actors should have open and honest conversations with their scene partners and the director prior to filming. They should discuss what they are comfortable with and what their boundaries are, as well as any specific instructions or concerns.

It’s also important for actors to feel empowered to set their own boundaries and to speak up if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe during filming. This means that if an actor does not want to perform a particular act or if they feel that their boundaries are being pushed, they have the right to stop the scene and speak to the director about their concerns.

It’s also essential for actors to be aware of their own physical and emotional limits. This means that they should take breaks as needed, communicate with their scene partner and director about any discomfort or pain, and engage in self-care practices to ensure that they are physically and emotionally prepared for the demands of the job.

Finally, it’s important for actors to have a support system in place. This can include talking to other actors who have experience in the industry, seeking out counseling or therapy, and having trusted friends and family members who can provide emotional support.

Navigating consent and boundaries in the porn industry can be challenging, but it’s an essential part of maintaining a safe and respectful work environment. By following these guidelines, newcomers to the industry can ensure that they are approaching these issues in a professional and responsible manner.

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