Skip to main content

Painful sex a sign of infertility? How Does it Impact fertility

Painful sex a sign of infertility? How Does it Impact fertility

Sexual activity should not be painful. However, almost three out of every four women will have painful sex at some point in their lives. Painful sex (also known as dyspareunia) might make pregnancy more difficult. For one thing, painful sex may signal the presence of an underlying medical problem that is impairing your fertility.

Second, painful sex may make pregnancy very difficult, if not impossible. If you are unable to withstand sexual activity, particularly around the time of ovulation, you will be unable to conceive. Discover what is and is not typical when it comes to sexual discomfort, which medical disorders may result in painful sex, and what you should do if you are experiencing this issue.

While this article focuses on female sexual discomfort, it is important to note that males may also feel sexual pain. Sexual pain in males also contributes to infertility.

What does ovary pain during sex mean?
What does ovary pain during sex mean?

Is Painful Sex Ever Normal?

Occasionally experiencing soreness during sex is natural. For instance, the first time a woman has sex may be uncomfortable, and this might be due to both parties’ inexperience and anxiousness. A first sexual experience, on the other hand, is not intended to be painful. The belief that first-time intercourse “should” induce pain and blood is often erroneous. Even first-time sex may be pleasurable.

Another common reason for painful sex is having sex in an awkward position. Deep thrusting positions might result in the cervix being bumped, which can be unpleasant. Changing postures or avoiding those that are unpleasant may readily fix this condition. For instance, the female-superior posture enables control and penetration depth.

Another possibly natural source of pain during sex is a lack of foreplay time. Sexual stimulation really causes a change in the reproductive organs. When you’re turned on, your cervix glides up and back, which makes intercourse more comfortable.

Having said that, pain and occasional discomfort are not synonymous, and consistent pain that keeps you from having sex is a different story.

The Causes of Painful Sexual Experiences and Infertility

Dyspareunia is the medical word for painful sex. Painful sex might be an indication of a more serious underlying medical problem. Several of these medical conditions may have a detrimental effect on fertility or make pregnancy more difficult.

There are various potential reasons for painful intercourse, all of which may have an effect on fertility:


Adhesions are scar tissue bands. Scarring in the pelvic area as a result of infection or previous surgery can result in dyspareunia and infertility. Asherman’s Syndrome is scar tissue that forms inside the uterine cavity, often as a result of previous surgery or infection. This is not usually painful, but it may result in infertility. Both of these are topics worth discussing with your physician.


Excruciating sex with endometriosis may be exacerbated by ovulation and menstruation. This pain is often felt deeper in the body rather than at the point of entrance. Other endometriosis symptoms include severe menstrual cramps, discomfort with urination or feces (particularly during your period), and overall pelvic pain.


Fibroids are benign tumours that form on or inside the uterine walls. They have the potential to produce painful intercourse. Fibroids may develop anywhere on the uterus, cervix, or ligaments of the pelvis. Due to mechanical pressure, they produce dyspareunia.

Hymen that is intact or very tight

The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the vaginal entrance. It often does not completely cover the aperture, but rather has a tiny hole that expands out with time. Occasionally, the hymen does not extend spontaneously or is abnormally thick or tight, resulting in painful intercourse. This may be corrected surgically without affecting fertility.

Ovarian cysts

The majority of ovarian cysts resolve on their own, and 5 to 10% may need surgery. While most ovarian cysts do not cause discomfort during sex, more troublesome cysts may. While a cyst by itself is not a cause of infertility, cysts may be produced by illnesses (such as PCOS and endometriosis) that do.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is another probable reason for painful sex, with discomfort often felt deep in the abdomen rather than at the point of entrance. In this situation, the discomfort is often caused by scar tissue or adhesions created as a result of the infection.

Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, or vaginal agenesis, affects around one in every 5,000 women. A “neovagina” may be created surgically, allowing for a normal sexual life. Additionally, vaginal dilators may assist in establishing a vaginal opening for intercourse. Pregnancy is impossible if the uterus is malformed or absent. Certain women may still be able to have a biological child via surrogacy.

Vaginal dryness

This may vary from mild discomfort to severe agony, particularly when accompanied by low estrogen levels in general. This discomfort is often associated with vaginal entrance. Cervical mucus deficiency might suggest hormonal imbalance, but it can also occur as a side effect of treatment.

Painful Sex & Infertility

While infertility produced by these illnesses may be difficult to cure, the discomfort they cause should be manageable by medication, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, or surgery. Make no assumption that you must learn to live with the agony. Consult your physician on your treatment choices.

Can being dry during sex cause pain?
Can being dry during sex cause pain?

When Painful Sex Makes Pregnancy Difficult

Often, the reason for painful sex has no direct effect on fertility—but the fact that sex is uncomfortable makes pregnancy difficult, if not impossible. Vulvodynia and vaginismus are two frequent sex pain problems. Vulvodynia is discomfort in the vulva or at the vaginal opening. The discomfort may be constant, intermittent, or just when touched.

Between 6% and 20% of women will suffer from vulvodynia for up to three months throughout their lives. The etiology of vulvodynia is unknown. Frequently, treatment requires some experimenting. What is effective for one woman may not be effective for another.

Vaginismus is another prevalent sex discomfort issue. Women who have vaginismus endure discomfort following vaginal penetration. According to others, the agony seems like a “tearing” or as if they are being “torn apart.” There are no credible estimates of the number of women who have vaginismus, owing to the fact that it is commonly under-reported, making study difficult.

The pain problem may seem to have always existed or may develop after months or years of pain-free experiences. As with vulvodynia, vaginismus is a mystery. It was formerly believed to be an unconscious constriction of the vaginal muscles that resulted in discomfort during penetration. This idea, however, has been put into doubt.

Both illnesses may need the assistance of many professionals. Gynecologists, physical therapists, pain specialists, sex therapists, and psychologists are among medical practitioners that may be able to assist.

What does pain during sex feel like?

Discussing Painful Sex Experiences With Your Physician

Many women avoid disclosing painful intercourse to their physicians. According to one research, just 15% of women who suffered dyspareunia had addressed the issue with their doctor. You should see your physician about your discomfort. You are not obligated to endure. There are therapeutic options accessible.

When you arrive for your visit, be prepared to describe when, how, and where the pain occurs. This will assist your physician in determining a probable reason. If discussing your pain with your doctor is too tough, try pre-writing the answers to the following questions.

Are gynecological examinations also painful? (Please inform your doctor if this is the case, as they may be able to make it more pleasant for you.)

Are you nursing? Did the discomfort begin after childbirth?

Are you considering alternate methods of conception, such as insemination?

Is sex painful during entry? Or is the discomfort a more profound kind of agony?

Is the discomfort limited to sexual intercourse? Do you have similar experiences at other times?

Does the pain seem to begin or intensify at certain points throughout your cycle? For instance, is it more painful around ovulation? Or is it during menstruation?

Does sexual position matter if the pain is more severe? Is the discomfort acute or dull?

If penetration is the source of discomfort, is it irrelevant what is placed into the vagina? For instance, may tampons be used? Is finger insertion painful as well, or is it simply penile insertion?

If you want to conceive, has the discomfort prohibited you from having sexual activity on a regular enough basis to conceive?

Is the sensation of pain altered depending on what is touched? For instance, do you suffer discomfort in the vulva region before penetration?

Final Thoughts on Painful Sex and infertility

Sexual discomfort is not your responsibility. This is not anything to be embarrassed about. It is a medical problem, not a personality trait. Regrettably, not every physician is knowledgeable on how to correctly react to or manage pain disorders. If your doctor is unable to assist you or does not take you seriously, seek treatment from another physician. Continue speaking up until you get the assistance you need.