Why Does My Vagina Burn After Sex?

If you have experienced pain during or after sex, you are not alone. It is actually a common sexual complaint.

Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes can cause pain during and after sex. Other causes include dryness, allergies to condoms or lubricants and even certain medical conditions.

Causes

If you’re experiencing burning pain during sex, it can be a bit of a turn-off and can definitely affect your sexual enjoyment. That’s why it’s important to know what is causing it, and to find a solution so that you can get back to feeling normal (and enjoying sex!).

Infections are a common cause of burning after sex, including yeast infections like thrush and bacterial vaginosis and STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes. These can be diagnosed with a simple sexual health screen, and treated with antibiotics to ensure that they don’t spread. In some cases, if left untreated these infections can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can cause serious complications including infertility.

Another common cause of vaginal burning is a urinary tract infection, which can include bladder or kidney infections. Bacteria live around the vaginal opening, so it’s easy for them to make their way up into the urethra and bladder, causing pain with urination. UTIs are usually associated with bladder frequency, urgency and burning, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms it’s important to seek medical attention.

Hormonal changes can also cause pain during sex, especially during perimenopause and menopause when estrogen levels drop significantly. This can lead to symptoms such as vaginal dryness and irritation, a lack of sexual arousal, hot flashes and even depression.

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There are also a few medical conditions that can cause pain during sex, such as vaginismus and vestibulodynia, which are both caused by the muscles in the lower part of the vagina locking up and tightening during penetration. These can be hard to diagnose, but a visit to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will help you work out what’s going on and how best to treat it.

Treatment

The good news is that most of the causes of sex-related vaginal burning are highly treatable. If the problem is a lack of lubrication, a simple lube application should help to relieve the burn.

If the burning is caused by an STI, like herpes or chlamydia, it’s important to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated quickly. Most STIs, including herpes, can be easily diagnosed with a quick sexual health test and most are easily treatable with antibiotics.

Other common causes of vaginal burning are a yeast infection, a cystitis flare-up or an allergy to condoms, lube or other intimate products. If you think one of these may be the culprit, try switching to a different product to see if your symptoms improve.

For a yeast infection, a prescription or over-the-counter antifungal medication should help relieve the symptoms and allow you to resume normal sex. A cystitis flare-up or an allergic reaction to a lubricant or condoms can often be soothed with an over-the-counter antihistamine or an antidepressant.

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Lastly, an icepack or cold compress can reduce pain and burn by numbing the area. To make a cold compress, soak a cotton washcloth in milk and apply to the vulva or vagina. You can also try kefir, a fermented milk rich in probiotics, to soothe the symptoms.

If the burning is a result of sex, it’s important to talk to your partner about it and use barrier methods (like condoms) if you don’t already. If the burning is a result of an STI, it’s crucial to alert all your recent sexual partners and to practice abstinence until you’re cleared by a doctor. In both cases, the symptom should resolve within a few days after you’re treated. The most important thing to remember is that painful sex is not normal, and it’s worth taking the time to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can find the right treatment.

Prevention

Luckily, there are some simple things you can try to help prevent burning during sex or after sex. If you’re experiencing a burning sensation after sex, it could be due to lack of natural lubrication, an allergy or tight muscles around the area. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor to find the right treatment.

During intimate situations, the body produces its own natural lubrication to reduce uncomfortable friction during penetration. This lubrication can be affected by a number of factors, including lack of arousal, an allergic reaction or even certain medications.

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If you experience a burning sensation after sex, try applying an ice pack on the area to numb the pain and burn. You can also use a topical vaginal analgesic or a vaginal lubricant to reduce burning, swelling and discomfort.

A yeast infection (also known as thrush) can cause burning during and after sexual activity. Yeast infections can also cause itching and a thick white discharge. If you suspect a yeast infection, see your pharmacist for an appropriate medication.

Sperm allergies can also cause irritation and a burning feeling in the vulva during sex. If you’re allergic to certain proteins in semen, your GP can prescribe you with an antihistamine to help ease the symptoms.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also cause a burning sensation during sex, especially trichomoniasis. Other common STIs that can cause a burning sensation include chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes. If you think you may have an STI, speak with your GP for a sex test.

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Stanislaw

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Stanislaw

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