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Is it normal to have pain during intercourse?

Written by Emma McGeorge

Many women experience pain during sex (also known as dyspareunia). According to one Australian study, 20% of women and 2% of men experience pain during sex. And according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 75% of women have experienced painful sex at some point during their lives.

But while pain during sex is common, it’s not normal. 

Dyspareunia can happen for lots of reasons, like not enough foreplay, a reaction to lubricants or medications, skin infections, urinary tract infections, thrush, hormonal changes, chronic pain disorders, cancer treatment, recovering from childbirth, and more.

If you’re experiencing any pain during intercourse, make sure you see your doctor to check for underlying conditions – especially if the pain is coming from deep in your pelvis. You can also have a look at options to manage and minimise pain.