How to Ease Painful Sex Before & After Your Period

Have you ever experienced painful sex before or after your period? Or perhaps a dip in your libido or vaginal dryness? If you're nodding your head thinking, 'Yep, that's me,' you're not the only one. A study of 520 Indian women showed that 56% experienced painful sexual intercourse.  

Sex should never be painful, no matter what time of the month it is. A little discomfort is normal, but if you keep experiencing pain during sex at certain times, it’s time to see your physician as soon as possible.  

What causes painful sex before and after periods?

There are several things that can cause painful sex during your menstrual cycle, ranging from normal hormonal changes to severe infections.

1] Hormonal changes

You must have experienced mood swings and some hormonal changes during the periods. Such ups and downs in hormones aren't just messing with your emotions; they might also cause discomfort like bladder or urinary tract irritation. These cyclical hormonal changes can cause discomfort during intercourse. 

2] Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness is really uncomfortable when it comes to sex. It can result from hormonal imbalances, contraceptives, or everyday stress that reduces natural lubrication, ultimately leading to dryness and itchiness. This is a major cause of painful sex, but it is also easily fixable as we will see later.

3] Menstrual cramps (Dysmenorrhea)

You must have experienced menstrual cramps in your lower abdomen or around the pelvis. While the cramps are pretty hard for many females, these can sometimes become more intense during sexual activity. 

4] Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

It is a combination of emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms that occur in the days leading up to a woman's menstrual period. While most of you must have dealt with it, but its not just about mood swings. It can bring physical symptoms like bloating and tender breasts, adding to a new level of discomfort. 

5] Ovulation pain (Mittelschmerz)

Ever feel a little twinge around ovulation? That's just your body informing you that it's egg-release time. While usually nothing serious, this pinch of pain might make sex a little less comfortable. It's another one of those menstrual cycle quirks that end up in painful sex before or after your period. 

6] Some other infections

Infections are perfectly called the uninvited guests that make everything uncomfortable and cause stress. These can range from yeast infections related to an imbalance in the natural flora to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhoea or chlamydia. Regular check-ups and being safe can keep things in check, so you don't have to deal with these unwelcome surprises.

These are just a few causes of painful sex after a period. Some other reasons that you should be aware of include:

  • Hymen lacerations
  • Cervicitis
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Vulvodynia
  • Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis


5 tips to ease painful sex

If pain during sex is a regular occurrence, see a trusted doctor as soon as possible. A visit to a good gynaecologist or sex therapist can uncover the root cause and recommend the right solutions to help you recover.

You can also try doing the following to make sex more pleasaurable: 

1] Monitor your cycle and explore alternatives

Knowing your menstrual cycle isn't just for tracking periods. If you know when things might feel a bit off, you can opt for other ways to connect apart from intimacy or sex that don't bring discomfort.

2] Try using a sex lubricant

If you’ve never used a lubricant for sex before, you’re in for a treat. Lubricant not only soothes vaginal dryness; it creates additional sensations that make sex far more pleasurable. Make sure to use a water-based or silicone-based lubricant with latex condoms; oil-based lubricants like coconut oil makes condoms ineffective. 

We recommend Durex Naturals Lubricant, a water-based lubricant with a pH-friendly formula that’s non-sticky and easy to clean.

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3] Take it slow

Think of intimacy as a beautiful symphony. Taking the time for some foreplay can help everything feel more relaxed. It will make the intimate time a relaxing and blissful experience and allow you to connect deeply.

4] Choose comfortable positions

Intimacy is not about just having sex but feeling that gush of emotions too. It's also about exploring and experimenting. Try different positions to see which is more comfortable for you. 

5] Open communication

Imagine sharing a secret with your best friend. Open-hearted talks with your partner can be a bridge to understanding. Share how you feel and what you wish for. A beautiful intimate relationship is possible when you both know each other. It's all about being on the same page and enjoying your time together.