painful sex

Dear Suzie, I have recently started having pain on vaginal intercourse that is so bad I am putting it off. My boyfriend and I used to have a perfectly normal sex life but now we have sex maybe once a month as I’m so scared it will hurt. I don’t know what to do – I’m scared he’ll leave me because of this. Please help.

I’m sorry you’re having such an unpleasant and scary time and I do want to help you deal with this. However, the solution I’m about to offer is the one you know I will suggest.

If you had a pain in your leg that was so bad you couldn’t walk, or in your arm so bad you couldn’t lift anything, you wouldn’t even bother to ask me what to do. You’d know perfectly well the answer would be “See your doctor!” You hesitate because you’re either embarrassed or scared. Embarrassed because you’re having sex before marriage? Your doctor wouldn’t even bother to remark on that, it’s so normal and common. Of being told off or humiliated by your doctor? A doctor could be struck off for doing so! Because you’re embarrassed in case it’s a sexual infection? That doesn’t mean you’ve been bad or dirty – again, your doctor would take it in his or her stride and hardly remark, but would be concerned to treat you and your boyfriend. Leaving a sexual infection could lead to serious ill health and infertility.

Or are you frightened your doctor may discover it’s something really serious? If it is something that needs immediate treatment, it is such whether you see your doctor or not and leaving it only makes it worse. Pain on having sex can occur for a wide range of reasons, many having nothing to do with sex. Please, make an appointment with your own doctor AT ONCE and get this sorted out and treated. You know it makes sense! As for your boyfriend, I bet thinks the reason sex has dwindled is because you’ve gone off him. He’d want to support and help you if he knew what was happening, so do tell him and get him to stand by you as you get treatment. Good luck!

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