Pain During Intercourse: Change Your Style

Dear Dr. Patti:

Help! I love having sex with my boyfriend except for one thing: It hurts! He hits my cervix repeatedly during intercourse, and after a while I can hardly stand it any more. I don't like to complain to him because I love being with him, but it's gotten to the point where I don't want to have sex just to avoid the pain. Any advice? --R

Question:

Dear R:

Know that you are not alone. From time to time my female clients complain that their male partners are "hurting" them during penetrative sex and want to know what to do. Usually these are women who are in loving, caring and otherwise sexually satisfying relationships. The issue is always the same: During sexual intercourse his penis hits the cervix and produces pain. Often the result is for her to simply shut down her pleasure in this way and call it a day. It makes sense that if you are feeling pain during an act that is supposed to feel good, you will eventually avoid the act to avoid the pain. Of course, if you are feeling pain in your reproductive area, I always recommend getting a thorough checkup with your own gynecologist to rule out any abnormalities.

This disturbance is often caused by a combination of two elements. First, he is usually gifted in size when erect and she is usually rather tight vaginally. Second, his sexual style favors pounding and hard, thrusting motions when he is inside his partner's vaginal canal. That is the kind of sexual behavior that may be associated with passionate sexual interludes. Passion is a wonderful part of lovemaking, but not if it produces discomfort or hurts the participants. Another possible cause is a misunderstanding among some men about how to produce pleasurable outcomes for their female partners. I find that most women enjoy a suction type of penetration rather than the hard, pounding variety. That can be rough or gentle, fast or slow, shallow or deep. Either way, it has a more connective sensation than the kind that usually allows him to crash upon the head of that poor cervix.

I recommend that you speak to him about his sexual style and experiment with other ways of experiencing penetrative sex together. Use plenty of lubrication; with more slippery walls inside your vagina, his penis may find a different rhythm and pattern. Above all, know that you may not want sex with him until you two, as a team, recreate patterns that bring joy and lack of pain to your sexual bond.

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