Chatting about orgasms, lagging libidos, or STDs can be intimidating. So we stepped in and did the asking. Our experts insights may reassure you, surprise you, and even inspire you to turn up the heat on your sessions in the sack.
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It hurts when I have sex!
Join the club: As many as 60 percent of women have experienced pain during intercourse, according to a study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. “In most cases, a lack of lubrication is to blame,” says Livoti. Birth control pills, antihistamines, and other meds can all contribute to vaginal dryness, but often there’s no medical reason. And it can happen at any age. “Plus, the friction during sex can use up your natural lubrication,” adds Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., a research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good. Keep a tube of lube by your bed—water-based is best because it’s not messy, is compatible with latex and silicone, and it’s readily available. But if the discomfort persists after a few romps, or if tenderness is accompanied by a fever or bleeding, it’s important to consult your gynecologist. “Irritation at the vaginal opening could signal a pelvic, bladder, or urinary tract infection that needs medication,” says Livoti. “And pain caused by deep thrusting might be the result of an ovarian cyst.”