I wanted to write in to share my experience as I think it could help others. I’m a mother of two and have a husband I adore. After the second birth I felt pain during intercourse. I tried to ignore it as having a baby and a three-year old pushed sex down my list of priorities anyway.
Over time, my libido disappeared and I was tense when we did have sex because it hurt. I never told my husband and just tried to get on with it. I had some pain in and around my vagina day-to-day too and eventually went to my doctor for advice. She found tiny lesions in my vagina and on my labia and perineum that were probably caused by lack of lubrication. We always use lube during sex so she wasn’t sure why I had these.
She suggested salt baths (a handful per bath) to help prevent any infections and I have to say they really helped ease the discomfort.
I spoke to you around that time too and shared that I wasn’t that sure I even wanted to get my sex life back on track. You told me to slow down and think about what I really wanted, which I did. I realised that sex is such a fundamental part of our relationship and I love my husband so I decided to make efforts.
I bought nice candles, sexy sleep-wear and some new toys and lube. I changed my approach to sex by making an effort and making it more sensual, my husband loved it and that energised me.
I got myself some Replens which is a female vaginal moisturiser. I use it every few days and it keeps me from feeling dry and uncomfortable. If I know we’re going to have sex I use it before as well and my husband takes the extra wetness as a sign that I’m more turned on and into sex which he loves.
We’re in a very good place now and sex doesn’t hurt me anymore. I can’t believe I waited three years to get this sorted and hope this letter might help others to get help sooner.
Thank you so much for your inspiring mail. You found the problem by getting examined, decided to fix the problem, discovered products that helped, and made big efforts. Fantastic!
The lesions you describe are common for women who aren’t lubricating enough and the pain can be ongoing, not just during sex. The lesions can be so small they’re hard to see with the naked eye but the sensation is often that of burning or rawness. Menopause, child-birth, medications (such as birth control, pain meds, anti-depressants), drugs, stress and poor diet can all cause dryness.
Replens is a well-known and established product and that works for millions of women. However, it’s worth reading the ingredients of any product you’re putting in your vagina as it’s as porous as your mouth.
I got a tip from a post-menopausal woman recently who suffered with the same lesions during penetration. She got herself some Vitamin E oil (30,000 IU) and straight after intercourse, she applies the oil with her fingers inside her vagina and on her vulva. She reports that this has totally stopped any pain after penetration and day-to-day. You need to read ingredients on products that claim to be pure too as they may have added ingredients that don’t suit you.
Other women find a topical oestrogen cream works wonders for this problem but it isn’t suitable for all women.
I’m delighted to hear that you found a way to inject novelty into your sex life. Often it feels too simple so people won’t try, but if you change the environment, and your approach to sex, you may very well discover the act also changes enough to feel exciting again. Never stop learning!