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Hurting After Intercourse

By Dana Severson ; Updated August 14, 2017

There are myriad reasons why you may experience pain after intercourse. For some people, it's a result of hygiene. For others, it's actually something far more serious like an STD, or sexually transmitted disease. You may suffer from a preexisting condition, like prostatitis, endometriosis or ovarian cysts. Regardless of what is ultimately causing the pain, it's often disconcerting, and you should consider talking to your doctor, especially if the pain has become an ongoing problem or persists for long periods of time.


One of the potential causes for pain after intercourse is hygiene. This doesn't necessarily mean poor hygiene, though a lack of cleanliness can cause some problems as well. For both men and women, you can hurt after intercourse, according to the National Institutes of Health, from genital irritation due to either soaps or detergents. Some detergents and soaps chafe or inflame the sensitive skin of the genitals. Changing brands may bring relief. For women, the pain may also be a result of douches or other feminine hygiene products that change the bacterial balance of the vagina and lead to genital irritation. Stopping their use can often lessen the pain after intercourse.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

Another potential cause of pain after intercourse is a sexually transmitted disease. Herpes and genital warts can often cause you to experience pain either during or after sexual intercourse. In this situation, the sores or bumps commonly seen in these STDs become irritated by friction, leading to pain soon after intimacy. Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for your condition.

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It's also possible to experience some level of pain after intercourse from improper lubrication, according to the Mayo Clinic. The reasons for improper lubrication range from lack of sexual arousal or drops in estrogen to prescription medications or birth control pills. When the vagina isn't properly lubricated, both the male and the female can suffer irritation to the genitals, which can lead to pain after intercourse.


Pain after intercourse is also common in people with a latex allergy, according to the National Institutes of Health. The use of a latex condom exposes both the male and female to this plastic polymer. With an allergy, contact causes irritation, inflammation, hives and sores to form along the skin, resulting in pain after intercourse. Changing to non-latex condom often remedies the issue.


An infection along the urinary tract may also cause some people pain after intercourse, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sex can aggravate the irritation and inflammation that exists from this infection, resulting in pain that may not have been present before. And much like with an STD, you should talk to your doctor about a prescription to clear up the infection.

Preexisting Conditions

Some people suffer from a preexisting condition that prompts pain after intercourse, according to the National Institutes of Health. For men, it's often a condition known as prostatitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the prostate. Since the prostate surrounds the urethra, ejaculation can lead to pain after intercourse when the prostate is inflamed. For women, it may be endometriosis or ovarian cysts that cause the sensation of pain. The abnormal uterine tissue growth of endometriosis is far more sensitive than the tissue commonly found along the cervix. Sex can irritate and inflame this tissue, leading to pain. With ovarian cysts, the abnormal mass growing along the ovaries can be irritated by sex, causing a deeper sensation of pain.


Beside physical problems, some people experience pain after intercourse as a result of an emotional or psychological issue, such as stress. When you're stressed, the muscles of the body become tense, including those of the pelvic floor. Sex may irritate or even injure the area, leading to pain.

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