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Sex Hurts my Wife - What Should I do?

Couple standing by bed holding hands


Being part of a couple is a constant work in progress. You grow together, learn from each other, cherish and care for something beyond yourselves.

Sexual intimacy is one of many ways you can express your feelings and strengthen your bond. Sharing mutual pleasure is relaxing and fun; it fills both your bodies with “happy chemicals” endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine. It even clears your skin and is an excellent physical activity.

But what happens when it hurts?

It is not easy or comforting to hear your wife say that sex is painful. Your first thoughts may be, “what if I am doing it wrong?” or “do they not want me?”, but you should abandon this line of thought. If sex hurts your wife, it is not your fault or theirs, and it decidedly does not represent a bigger issue in your relationship. However, if you don’t do something quickly about it, the physical discomfort and the lack of communication might cause irreparable strain to your partnership. As we have said in previous blog posts, communication is key.

Listen When Your Wife Says Sex Hurts

According to research, at least one in every four people with vaginas felt or will feel pain during sexual intercourse. Most of these individuals have to go through lengthy and sometimes embarrassing process to obtain a diagnosis for the origin of their discomfort. As a result, some may see their relationships suffer because this.

The research on female sexual pain is sparse and relatively new. Years ago, when a wife complained about pain during sex, they were labeled as “frigid,” “too uptight,” or sometimes “hysterical". Even the word “hysteria” comes from the Greek word for “uterus.” Since the medical consensus was that the pain was psychological, these individuals were sent on their way with recommendations to “relax and let go” and little focus in the area of pain management.

Only recent research and development looks more deeply into people with vaginas suffering sexual pain or dyspareunia. Nowadays, it's easier for specialists to diagnose and treat conditions like chronic pain around the vulva or painful vaginal constriction.

Historically, society has ignored people with vaginas in pain. Now is the time to set that right. Be there for your spouse; listen to their descriptions of pain, when and where they do feel it, how spread or ripping it feels. Does the pain linger for long? Does it appear when inserting a tampon? When riding a bicycle? A few heartfelt conversations will establish a lot of information to relay to the doctor for your next visit. 

Talking to your spouse will help them assess things they may be hiding while reassuring them that they are heard, and you care about their well being and comfort.

What Makes Sex Hurt my Wife?

Many conditions can cause pain during sex, either around the vagina or in the deeper pelvis. Your conversations should establish a solid set of symptoms that will help the gynecologist during the diagnosing process.

When the pain appears on the vaginal walls or entrance, most commonly the cause for it is dryness. Lack of necessary lubrication can come from hormonal unbalances from menopause or breastfeeding. Other situations like lack of sexual arousal, bacterial or fungal infections can cause vaginal dryness.

Irritation or allergies can also give your wife pain during sex. Check with them whether they has any adverse reaction to intimate products, latex condoms, scented or flavored lubes, or synthetic underwear.

There are also more severe conditions that could be the cause of your wife’s painful sex. Injuries around the vaginal area can result from falls, rough terrain cycling, or the episiotomy performed by the obstetrician during labor.  Vestibulodynia is the presence of chronic pain in the vaginal entrance, while  vulvodynia refers to a similar pain in the vulva, the outermost part of the female reproductive system. Either of these conditions will give them permanent pain in the area, which will flare up during sex, arousal, or even non-sexual activities like a pelvic exam, inserting a tampon, or exercise. 

Another troubling condition is vaginismus, the involuntary constriction of the vaginal walls during penetration attempts. This constriction may occur even when your spouse feels aroused and eager to have sex, and it might leave them feeling  unfairly confused and guilty.

When experiencing pain in the pelvic area, their condition could be more problematic. Deep pelvic pain can be a symptom of an inflammation of the cervix tissue that will hurt when touched with a penis or sex toy. Another form of inflammation is endometriosis, where the tissue lining their uterus spreads to other organs, causing great pain. Sexually transmitted infections can devolve into pelvic inflammatory disease, giving them continuous pain that worsens during intercourse. 

Your wife’s pain during sex can also be caused from severe conditions like ovarian cysts or an ectopic pregnancy, which have to be attended by a health professional as soon as possible to avoid risking their health. 

Monitor your spouse’s diagnosis process closely. While the worst conditions are relatively quick to discover, some of them, like Vaginismus or Endometriosis can take months, even years, to obtain a diagnosis beyond all doubt. Help them keep track of their symptoms, and document symptoms as they progress or worsen. If welcomed, accompany them to their doctor’s appointments and take notes about the tests they have to take and what you can do contribute to alleviating their pain. 

Treatment for my Wife’s Painful Sex

Once your spouse has received a positive diagnosis, the treatment should be straightforward. Infections, hormonal imbalances, and certain inflammations will subside with medication. Allergies and irritations will clear as soon as you are rid of the irritant or allergenic substance. Even some of the more delicate situations, like cysts or ectopic pregnancies, will be remedied after surgery and a  recovery process detailed by your doctor.

However, there are a few situations that will require a broader approach. Endometriosis, for example, is a long-term condition that will probably accompany your spouse through their fertile years, worsening during their periods. Traditional treatments include hormonal therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Some recent discoveries about the relationship of Endometriosis and the endocannabinoid system hint towards CBD as a possible aid - more research is needed on this topic.

Vaginismus and vulvodynia, on the other hand, have a significant emotional component. Couples therapy and counseling will help cope the possible insecurities and guilt feelings that you and your spouse may encounter from this diagnosis. Some topical ointments help ease these conditions. Perhaps the origin of your wife’s pain is endometriosis or vaginismus. In that case, they will benefit from specific changes to their lifestyle, a healthier diet, physical therapy, and mental exercises such as meditation and mindfulness. Talk to them about the different medication options and the benefits or using therapeutic CBD products to help them recover.

Perhaps the origin of your wife’s pain is endometriosis or vaginismus. In that case, they will benefit from specific changes to their lifestyle, a healthier diet, physical therapy, and mental exercises such as meditation and mindfulness. Talk to them about the different medication options and the benefits or using therapeutic CBD products to help them recover. 

Support their new diet, encourage them throughout their therapy sessions, and join them during their pelvic floor exercises. Their journey is also yours. If they have vaginismus, they will probably benefit from training with dilators like  She-ology. Make the training an occasion to be together in an intimate if not sexual situation. Getting together through this experience can be a lovely bonding experience that will bring you closer as a couple. 

How Can I Have Sex With my Wife Without Pain?

Many couples experience strain to their relationships when finding themselves unable to engage in penetrative sex. This suffering may be born from the idea that penetration is somehow the highest form of intimacy and the only expression of love. While this idea might be widespread, it also lacks ingenuity and can cause missed opportunity to those who abide by it.

The inability to withstand penetration, sexual or otherwise, could erode at your wife’s self-esteem, making them feel guilty for something outside their control. If you do not approach this condition from a place of understanding, they might end up avoiding any physical contact or demonstration of affection. There may be a fear of you becoming aroused and then having to deny you of your desires.

Do not let them feel responsible for their pain. Be attentive and affectionate, reassure her that your love is not given conditional on sex. Show them that you care, ask to learn about their symptoms, and be there for them during treatment. Demonstrate your affection in a non-sexual way to make them feel loved but not pressured. The touch of a hand, a soft kiss, cuddle when you watch a movie. Make them feel as treasured as you cherish them.

Redefine your intimate moments. Just because penetration is painful for your wife, it does not forbid you from taking pleasure in each other. Multiple options will give you the intimacy you crave and bring them to orgasm without hurting them.

Start by asking your spouse out on a date. Scheduling your sexual encounters will give them time as they mentally and physically prepare themselves for the occasion. Meanwhile, you'll have the opportunity to dote on them and pamper them in anticipation. 

When the moment arrives, ask after their feelings and consent to the encounter. Reading face and body language to identify any sign of discomfort will pay dividends in pleasure. If they show or express any doubt or pain, do your best to reassure them and take things slow or pause without regrets or reclamations. Your wife might take some time and frequency to recover their trust in their body. Be a supporting partner during that time.

Many pain issues during sex are due to insufficient lubrication. Even if it is not the case, take this opportunity to add some extra glide to your bedroom ride. Remember, there's no such thing as too much lubrication. Your best options are water-based lubes without glycerin or parabens since they will not damage latex condoms or silicone toys. We strongly encourage adding personal care for the delicate labial and perineal skin in the form of GoLove Intimate Serum for the added hyaluronic serum which will soothe your partner’s skin (and yours!).

Many sexual and erotic activities do not require penetration and can minimize your wife’s pain. Experiment together to find what turns you both on. Oral and manual stimulation can bring you both to Earth shattering orgasms, with countless variations to explore. You can even indulge in a little voyeuristic fantasy and watch each other masturbating. Watching is a sexy way to learn about what your spouse finds pleasurable, while showing them what feels good to you. 

Try different kinds of touch play, exploring every inch of their body and ask them to rate on a scale of 1-10 what feels best. Putting a number on their sensations will give them a measure of control over their body that will help you participate in a satisfying, pain-free experience.

Spank them lightly, rake your nails across their back, write on their body with High On Love edible body paint and then lick it off them. Give her an erotic massage with the relaxing CBD body oil Unwind. If their clitoris is capable without pain, you can use the Womanizer to bring them vibration and suction pleasure intensifying to a crescendo of an orgasm.

If your wife’s pain centers on their vaginal wall muscles, the doctor would recommend using vibrators to help them relax. The elegant and jewel-like Callie mini wand is thin enough not to trigger your wife’s pain while bringing them delicious vaginal sensation.

In the end, love is the greatest aphrodisiac of all. Care for your spouse, be there for them, listen to their voice and their body. Support them through their therapy and treatment, and make them feel as good about themselves and their body as you know they deserve.


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