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Painful Intercourse 


HTHGS: Painful Intercourse (written by Erika Pluhar)
Ask Erika,
During sex I get very very tight and it becomes painful to me any my boyfriend to continue, why does this happen and what can be done to prevent it?

 Also upon first penetration I feel pain but there is no blood and goes away once I continue! What do you think? Niki

Dear Niki,
Thank you for your question.  There could be a couple explanations for the pain you are experiencing during intercourse.  Regardless of what is causing it, though, I would urge you to get an exam by a nurse or doctor because they will be able to diagnose and treat you.  First, it could be that you do not have enough lubrication in your vagina.  During arousal, the vaginal naturally produces lubrication and it may be that you do not have this lubrication when you start having intercourse.  This is easily remedied with a water-based lubricant such as Astrolabe or Wet, which can be purchased in any drugstore (by the condoms and stuff). 
Second, it could be that you have an infection, including a yeast infection (which usually also causes itching and a white discharge) or a sexually transmitted infection.  To determine if this is the cause, it is important to go to your doctor or nurse (or to a clinic such as Planned Parenthood) to get it checked out and treated.  Third, there is a condition called dyspareunia (painful intercourse) that can be caused by a variety of factors, including those mentioned above.  Again, a doctor or nurse would need to check you out to be sure.

 Good luck and I hope you are able to find the cause of the pain and feel better!

 HTHGS:  Painful Sex

Ask Erika,
Me and my boy friend have a very active sex life and he's noticed that I'm very tight even though we had sex minutes before. I never thought anything of it till recently when we went on vacation. We started having sex and it hurt a lot and there was blood. I could have sworn that I lost my virginity again. Every time we have sex it is like that even if we've had it minutes before. It has been like that even since I started on the birth control shot Depo Prevera. Can the shot make you tighter and if it can't then is there something wrong with me? thanks, confused

Dear Confused,
Thank you for your question.  I would encourage you to make an appointment with a medical practitioner to get the symptoms you describe checked out. Any time there is bleeding or pain during intercourse, it could mean you have a medical problem that needs to be properly evaluated and treated. It may be something as simple as needing additional lubrication during intercourse, but since you describe bleeding and pain, it may be something else.  Either way, I strongly suggest you get a check-up with your gynecologist, a primary care physician or nurse practitioner.  If you do not have an established clinician, you also could go to a Planned Parenthood or county clinic in your area.  I wish you the best of luck and thank you again for your question. Sincerely, Erika

This tip was originally written by Dr. Erika Pluhar


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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.


  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
     The purpose of this site is to share information. Thus, if you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you believe others might benefit from, please e-mail your tip to and I  will be sure to include it on either our weekly newsletter or here on the actual website. 

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September 19, 2006