Did the Pill Make Penetration Painful?

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 08:31
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Dr.Betty,

I am an 18 year old student and I have been experiencing pain during penetration for the past 7 months or so. I have not made any major lifestyle or medical changes. If anything, I have been healthier as I have cut down on sugar and exercise frequently.

I use lots of organic oil during sex so I dont think lubrication is an issue. I have been on the pill for 3 years due to horrendously painful period cramps, and I am almost positive that this is lowering my sex drive. I do masturbate regularly, but far less often than before the pill. And without lube I am completely dry and have little sensation.

My boyfriend is very kind and understanding, and we do mostly manual sex, but I still like to try penetration to see if it is getting any better. It never is. I am extremely frustrated about this because I really used to enjoy penetrative sex, and I don't know why it doesn't feel good anymore. Is it because of the pill?

I want to go off of it and have considered an IUD but IUDs scare me and I am not in a place in my life to get pregnant right now. If the pill is the problem, is there any other birth control I can use that is effective and doesn't cause pain during penetration/dryness/low sex drive? And if the pill isn't the problem, then what is? I have tried to ask my doctor if I should go off the pill but she thought it was a horrible idea (ridiculous big pharma industry....). Thank you for reading this, any reply is very appreciated.


Dear K,

Yes, the pill has been reported to decrease a woman's sexual desire but as to causing pain, I'm not sure that's the problem. It might be the lube you are using like Astro Glide or KY jelly that irritates the vaginal canal. If you must use a water based lube with condoms for BC, I've been told that Liguid Silk is the best.

Be sure to read the ingredients in any product that goes inside your body. For many, many years I've been using 100% pure Almond oil with no adverse affects. Many women enjoy coconut oil or olive oil. Any pure nut oil is likely to be safe unless you have an allergic reaction to nuts.

From all I can tell, the IUD with a touch of hormones to reduce heavy periods is far better than the pill. Of course my preference was always the diaphragm. There is a new one on the market that claims "One size fits all." It called the Caya with very clear instructions for use. The main reason diaphragms fail is forgetting to put it in before sex and checking to see if it's in place.

I just finished reading a book Slippery When Wet by JE Ellington a reproductive physiologist who suffered with pain after vaginal penetration.She ended up inventing Pre-Seed, a balanced lube especially for couples wanting to procreate. However, the pure ingredients make it desirable especially for any woman who struggles with pain after intercourse. Let me know what worked so I can share your success story with other girls and women.

Dr Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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Could be many things...

Sun, 01/24/2016 - 22:53
Julia Emerald

Hi K
I am not a doctor (mandatory disclaimer) but I am a contributing writer here and I am also a woman who struggled with painful sex.
I know now mine was due to chronic tension in my pelvic floor muscles.  I am in agreement with an emerging army of physical therapists and other professionals that pelvic muscle tightness contributes to a large amount of the discomfort women struggle with during sex.

Pain during sex is poorly understood by the medical world and not even recognized in popular culture.  For me, I made progress when I *stopped* trying to fix myself and started building a supportive and loving relationship with my body.

Accepting my body the way it was even with painful sex was an important step.  After that my body took the lead communicating with me through my intuition why my body was so tight down there.  It came down to me accepting my lust and sexuality as a woman fully outside of rules and other people's expectations.

I have no idea what your journey will be like, but I am sure a healing journey is available for you if you seek it out and are willing to surrender into it.

Please remember to be kind to yourself and know your body has feelings too.  If you try to have sex when it's uncomfortable, that could worsen the problem.  These things can get on a nasty feedback loop and the more you trigger the pain or the uncomfortable experience, the more your body will tense up in anticipation and the pain persists.

I managed to make sex completely impossible for myself over the course of 5 years trying penetration over and over.  It might be a good idea to take intercourse off the table for a designated period of time (like 3-6 months) and spend some time tuning into your body.  You can place your hands on your vulva before or after you masturbate and quiet your mind for a minute.  Feel into your body and then listen for anything it has to say to you.  The more you stop trying to *make* your body be different, the better you will be able to hear what it has to say about the pain and your healing.

As I said again, I'm not a doctor... but I am a woman who healed sexual pain on her own without any doctor's help.  This is what worked for me.
I just submitted an article to this site which talks about my experience so look for that soon.  I will write more on this subject as time goes by too.

Best of luck and feel free to find me on the side panel of this site and contact me.