Health: Common Causes Of Vaginal Pain

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Vaginal pain can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological factors. It may occur under a variety of circumstances including during sex and while urinating.

Common symptoms of vaginal pain

Depending on your specific condition you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Stinging
  • Throbbing
  • Rawness
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Foul odour
  • Pain during intercourse

Common causes of vaginal pain

Infectious causes

Yeast infections

Yeast infections are characterized by itching, burning, and a whitish vaginal discharge and may be painful not to mention annoying as hell. It can be treated with over-the-counter medications with your doctor’s guidance.

Bacterial infections

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes itching, pain and may be accompanied by discharge and a fishy odour. It is caused by an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria in the vagina. It can be treated using antibiotics in either pill or cream form as prescribed by a doctor. Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Vaginal pain is one of the symptoms of STDs like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea. Herpes tends to have visible lesions that are tender to the touch. Other STI’s cause painful inflammations that are sensitive to pain and discomfort. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are easily treated with antibiotics. They are also easily prevented using condoms. Herpes though not curable can be managed to reduce future outbreaks and pain.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Bacteria can spread to the urinary tract and cause infection in the urethra. This can cause pain in the urethra and surrounding areas particularly pain or burning when urinating. Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment for UTIs. Uncomplicated UTIs clear up within a few days of treatment but you need to complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed. Severe UTIs may require intravenous antibiotics treatment administered in a hospital. Health: 9 Things That Can Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Non-infectious causes

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness is a hormonal issue that affects many women not just those who are menopausal. Estrogen plays a crucial role in lubricating the vagina and when there isn’t enough of it circulating because of birth control pills or breastfeeding or menopause among others, the woman experiences vaginal dryness and vaginal pain during intercourse. Treatment may include changing contraception methods or a topical application of medication or lube as advised by your doctor.

Relationships: Benefits Of Using Lube While Having Sex

Vulvovaginal atrophy

Vulvovaginal atrophy is the thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls which happens when the body produces less estrogen. It makes sex and urination and comfortable. Once diagnosed, it is typically treated with lubricant and hormone therapy.


Endometriosis is an extremely painful condition in which uterine tissue grows in places outside the uterus like inside the pelvic region, the abdomen, and even extreme locations like the lungs. It causes chronic inflammation and scarring which cause pain. It is typically treated with hormone therapy or surgery to remove any tissues that are causing pain.

Health: What You Should Know About Endometriosis

Pelvic inflammatory disease

This is an infection of the female reproductive organs including the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. It can result in scarring inside the pelvic organs or may cause the pelvic organs to attach to one another causing chronic discomfort and pain. After diagnosis through a pelvic exam and ultrasound, the doctor puts the patient on a course of antibiotics to clear the infection.

Cervical cancer

Pelvic pain or vaginal pain is one of the symptoms of cervical cancer. Other symptoms include back pain, abnormal bleeding, brown discharge, fatigue, nausea, and weight loss. If you have these symptoms go get checked. After diagnosis, a doctor recommends an appropriate treatment path based on each individual situation.

Your partner’s penis

Belly or vaginal pain may be caused by uncomfortable penetration possibly because of a partner’s large penis. If sex is uncomfortable for you and you suspect your partner’s size may be to blame, try changing sex positions to those that don’t allow for incredibly deep penetration. Also, use lots of lube.


Trauma that stems from sexual assault, traumatic childbirth, or a history of child abuse may cause vaginal pain. Share this with your doctor so that they can prescribe a course of treatment including but not limited to therapy.


This is chronic vaginal pain without an identifiable cause. About 9% of women deal with this kind of pain that is not caused by an infection or other medical conditions. The pangs of pain are spontaneous and unrelated to sex or any kind of touching. It is treated with topical application of medication used to manage fibromyalgia which is another chronic pain condition without a known cause.

If you experience any vaginal pain, speak to your doctor. Don’t live with preventable, treatable pain and discomfort.

Check out

7 Health Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Lifestyle And Health: Do’s And Don’ts For A Healthy Vagina

Sexual Health: 6 Sex Hygiene Habits You Shouldn’t Skip

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