Vagina Dialogue: A Candid Conversation About Overcoming Pain When Sex Hurts

by
woman in pain
HealthMotherhoodSelf ImprovementWomanhood 3 Comments

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Ladies, I want to address a subject that very few of us have the ability to talk honestly about. Sex. Some of us have girlfriends we can be open with about “everything,” but I realized through my own set of circumstances that even I was not being true to myself or anyone else in my life when it came to my sex life until a couple of months ago.

So allow me to ask you a few questions:

  • Do you ever have pain while having sex?
  • Has there ever been a time when you avoided sex because you knew it would hurt?
  • Have you ever felt like there was something wrong with you as a woman because sex was not enjoyable?
  • Are there certain positions during sex that cause high levels of pain?
  • Have you ever thought you might be doomed to a lifetime of unenjoyable sex due to vaginal issues?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, I’m here to tell you it isn’t normal and those things can probably be fixed.


I started having sex in my mid twenties and had issues from the beginning. First, I found that I was allergic to the spermicide in condoms, resulting in a UTI nearly every time I had sex. Then I started having dryness issues due to birth control, along with a major loss of libido. Then somewhere along the way I began to realize that pain during sex was becoming a normal thing for me.

I had pain upon entry, pain during, and sometimes bleeding after. This not only made things awkward for me in bed, but it also created awkwardness for my partner who felt horrible for being a source of physical pain in my life. And I always brushed it off, telling him it didn’t matter, I was fine, don’t worry about it, only to end up gritting my teeth during the act and crying in the bathroom after.

Finally, I reached a breaking point several years later when I decided to mention this issue to my gynecologist during an annual visit. The moment I started talking to her, I broke down in tears. The emotional baggage of feeling like something was utterly wrong with me all came to the surface and bubbled over in my doctor’s office as I told her how this issue was affecting me mentally, screwing with me emotionally, and ruining the physical side of my relationship with my long-term boyfriend. Her response was, “Oh honey, that’s not normal, and we can fix that.” Wait, what? You can?!

If 70% of men were dealing with penis issues every scientist on the planet would be engaged in NASA-level research until the problem could be fixed.

Unbeknownst to me, there is a type of physical therapy called pelvic floor therapy which specifically addresses muscular issues women deal with due to our gender. In doing some research on this I came to learn from the therapy center where I eventually sought my treatment, “Studies have shown that nearly 70% of women have disorders of the pelvic floor which can lead to discomfort, pain, or embarrassment.” 70%!!!!!!! How can 70% of us be dealing with these problems and not talking about them? I’m sorry, but if 70% of men were dealing with penis issues every scientist on the planet would be engaged in NASA-level research until the problem could be fixed. They also noted in their patient materials, “A common misperception among women is that these conditions will endure for the rest of their lives, when in reality, these problems are either avoidable or easily treated through physical therapy.”

On my first visit to what I enjoy referring to as “vagina therapy,” I admit, I felt totally embarrassed. I walked in with the impression that I was messed up and felt silly for being there due to this issue. The questions I had to answer about my sex life were very personal and I remember telling my physical therapist I thought we needed to grab a cup of coffee and learn more about each other before we started chatting about these things! Those feelings of embarrassment soon disappeared when I realized: A) I’m not the only woman who is dealing with this and B) My sex life will drastically improve and even be (gasp!) fun.

The initial visit involved an internal exam where the physical therapist tested the muscles of my vagina for pain levels by applying pressure to different areas. Every single one she touched had some level of pain or tension. She gave an explanation of why these muscles were hurting, explained the anatomy down there, and encouraged me by saying there were lots of other women with this same issue and many of them had already been helped.

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  • ladymarmalade

    The woman who shared this is fearless in so many ways… thanks for doing what so many of us are too embarrassed and humiliated to do for ourselves and others. I take courage from you.

  • Claire Elek

    You don’t mention the problem older women deal with because of a lack of hormones causing a thinning of the vaginal wall and dryness. My doctor prescribed a vaginal suppository that adds hormones and lubricates your vagina. In addition there are lubricants on the market that help if you suffer from dryness.

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