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Painful sex | Top Tips and Resources

Pain during or after sex is really common, and affects many women at some stage of their lives. For the vast majority of women, including during menopause, the pain will be likely be due to vaginal dryness. However, other conditions can cause painful sex and should always be investigated by a healthcare professional. So, first and foremost, don’t hesitate to seek the right help and guidance to ensure you are treating the root cause of your discomfort.

Top tips

If pain during or after sex is due to vaginal dryness, then these tips may help:

Use a moisturiser regularly to help lubricate and hydrate delicate tissues

Used regularly, and over time, moisturisers can really make a difference for many women and rehydrate intimate dry tissues.

Apply a lubricant before sex.

Lubricants provide immediate, safe relief and gently hydrate delicate tissues. They reduce friction and ease penetration.

Both lubricants and moisturisers are recommended by healthcare professionals, just be sure to check out those that are appropriate for vaginal use.

Modify your sexual position

A small adjustment or different technique can help reduce pain for some women.

Increase foreplay and arousal

Spending a bit of extra time can help relax tissues and stimulate natural lubrication.


Honest and open communication with your partner is key – wherever you’re at in a relationship.

Useful links and resources

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists | Sex and Relationships After Menopause

Women’s Health Concern | Vaginal Dryness Factsheet

Sexwise | Honest advice about contraception, pregnancy, STIs and pleasure

Yes | Painful Sex (Dyspareunia)

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