For both men and women, pain can occur in the pelvic area during or soon after sexual intercourse. It can happen at any time during sex -- for example, at the time of penetration, erection, or ejaculation -- or after sexual activity.
Eventually, ongoing pain may cause a person to lose interest in any sexual activity.
The medical term for this is dyspareunia.
Painful sexual intercourse; Dyspareunia
- A diaphragm that does not fit properly
- Genital irritation from soaps, detergents, douches, or feminine hygiene products
- Herpes sores, genital warts, or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Intercourse too soon after surgery or childbirth
- Ovarian cysts
- Prostatitis -- inflammation of the prostate
- Reaction to the latex of a diaphragm or condom
- Sexual abuse or rape
- Urinary tract infections
- Use of certain medications
- Vaginal dryness or too little lubrication (for example, from not enough foreplay)
- Vaginal infection
Review Date: 09/11/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.