Painful Intercourse throughout pregnancy

(15 Posts)
Moost Fri 28-Aug-20 15:14:39

Hi everyone
I am just curious to know if anyone else has experienced difficulty with intercourse during pregnancy due to vaginal pain and tenderness.
This began fairly early on and has been consistent throughout. It is just too painful! We have tried all positions, lubricants etc but nothing has worked. I have been checked for yeast infections etc but all have continued to come back clear.
One midwife did say it can just be one of those things with pressure the growing baby puts on everything, but as i now approach my due date in 3 weeks i am dreading the thought of examinations never mind pushing a baby out. We have tried perennial massage but again too painful and had to stop.
Grateful to hear from anyone who has had similar experience.

OP’s posts: |
grey12 Fri 28-Aug-20 15:17:32

Oh dear! No, I didn't experience that. Did you get tested for thrush? Your midwife seems to me very dismissive.... I would try to go to the GP.

good luck! thanks

jessstan2 Fri 28-Aug-20 15:49:11

You only have three more weeks to go, Moost. Once your baby is born and you've recovered from the birth, your hormone levels will gradually return to normal. It isn't at all unusual for expectant mothers to go right off sex altogether during pregnancy, never mind penetrative, so please don't think there is anything wrong with you. Everyone's different, there are some who can't get enough:-). There are also men who aren't keen/are a bit scared, when their wife is pregnant. I have to say I wasn't bothered about sex at that time and it never occurred to me I was abnormal in any way.

I don't have to tell you that sexual intercourse is not the only way to give and receive pleasure. Just be loving and affectionate, this is a precious time for you both.

I hope all goes well with the birth of your baby, it's very exciting for you both.

BG1234 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:41:34

Hi @Moost, don’t despair, I am 28 weeks and have been exactly the same. Not a case of just going off sex, but actually being physically painful when we try.

I had had the same issue to a lesser extent before pregnancy but it was only happening every now and again. I was looking at different conditions myself as my gp/sexual health clinic were only interested in trying to test for thrush, infections, etc. I found the vulval pain society website helpful and was looking into something called provoked vulvodynia which seemed to match my symptoms. However as I say it was very on/off and then I fell pregnant/doctors closed due to COVID, etc.

Since getting pregnant however every single time it is painful despite trying different things like you. Again, brought it up with midwife mentioning the possibility of vulvodynia and she said it has probably got worse because of hormones. There is very little research on it apparently. Like you I am worried about the thought of examinations and the birth and she said in the nicest possible way it’s going to hurt anyway! She did say I could consider something like an Aniball to try and get used to it, but they don’t have enough information to say one way or another.

I know how awful it feels and completely sympathise x

TobysMum16 Fri 28-Aug-20 17:03:25

I’ve been a bit swollen and tender down there from about 20 odd weeks. It’s not painful to have sex but not enjoyable either (we haven’t bothered for ages). I just put it down to increased blood flow.
I remember feeling similar in my last pregnancy. Didn’t have many examinations so that wasn’t a problem and everything returned to normal post pregnancy.

Moost Fri 28-Aug-20 17:06:54

Hi @BG1234

Thanks so much for posting, whilst im sorry to hear you are experiencing the same thing it is also very reassuring to know im not alone!!
And yes with Covid and reduced appointments etc you just know your pretty much on your own with this one unless its thrush or a UTI, or an emergency!

Like you i have mentioned it at my appts but all that has really happened is a couple of swabs get sent off and then come back clear and that's that. It does seem noone really knows.

I actually went to a private gynaecologist a few weeks back as it was really worrying me and almost had to persuade him to examine me. He said all looked fine, maybe a PH balance thing, and it made me feel better for couple of weeks but as the event draws near im getting anxious again...

Same for me in that i actually want to be intimate so its not a lack of wanting, its just too sore!

I suffered with vaginismus for years, which i actually try not to mention when discussing this with drs etc because they instantly say oh you must be tense etc. I know my body now in that regard very well, and with the vaginismus sex was not painful, it was impossible as the muscle just tightened up. Its one of the reasons its been important that we continue to have sex during pregnancy but this is different. My partner can penetrate me but any friction at all it just gets unbearable.

Id love to be able to do the perenial massage properly to help prepare as best possible, but its not really happening.

Im hoping all that dilation, stretching and everything else going on down there during birth will detract from the tender vaginal issues!

I seen the Aniball online and was tempted to try but i dont think i could actually bear it to be honest. But for those that can it definitely seems like it would be worth a go!

Thanks again and i hope things settle for you and that all goes well with the rest of your pregnancy xx

OP’s posts: |
Moost Fri 28-Aug-20 17:24:18


Thanks for reply and good to know it passed after birth

OP’s posts: |


BG1234 Fri 28-Aug-20 17:28:41

I agree about the aniball- don’t know if I’m committed enough to put myself through that pain, although reviews seem good!
I’m just hoping it is pregnancy hormones and goes away after.
I joined a private Facebook group at the beginning of my pregnancy when lockdown and the pain started. The amount of women on there who have suffered pain for years is terrible and doctors still don’t know why it happens and just fob it off because there is nothing visible to the eye.
Fingers crossed for you that the birth is smooth as it can be and that symptoms go afterwards! X

Moost Fri 28-Aug-20 17:29:50

Hi @jessstan2
Thanks for the encouragement, ive never posted on here (or anywhere before actually!) and its great to hear people's experiences.
Hormones definitely can do some very strange things so yes hopefully all will settle in due course x

OP’s posts: |
maloney123 Tue 09-Feb-21 05:41:12

Hello @Moost @BG1234 sorry to resurrect an old thread. I am experiencing exactly the same as you and just wondered how your birth experience went and whether things have gone back to normal since? X

Kowhai13 Tue 09-Feb-21 07:39:06

I have noticed this too, although haven't had much desire to have sex as felt very sick and anxious for first trimester.
I have had vaginismus in the past (I was like a brick wall, nothing could penetrate) and had treatment so its been fine for years but now and again I get a bit sore and think for me it was this since being pregnant.

maloney123 Tue 09-Feb-21 09:49:33

@Kowhai13 same - I have had some problems in the past which I resolved with pelvic floor PT but now I’m back to minus square one!

BG1234 Thu 11-Feb-21 16:35:11

Hi @maloney123, sorry to hear you are going through this.
I was unable to have sex throughout my pregnancy and I ended up having a c-section. It wasn’t solely because of the vulval pain but it was on my mind that a natural birth could make the condition worse after.
I was hoping it would ease up after pregnancy but it’s been over 3 months and still unable to have sex. I am breastfeeding and I know that affects hormone levels too. I’ve seen my gp now, been referred and waiting on a gynaecologist appointment.

Sorry I can’t be of more help. I know some women in the support group I joined found vaginal birth helped, some say it didn’t and some say it was the start/cause of their vulval pain. It really is pot luck 🤷‍♀️

notalwaysalondoner Thu 11-Feb-21 18:44:09

I'm 16 weeks and it's fine if we don't penetrate, but it is pretty unenjoyable for me if we do, I wouldn't quite use the word painful but definitely uncomfortable, and has been the whole time. I also have no sex drive at all.

maloney123 Sat 13-Feb-21 23:11:49

@BG1234 I am very sorry to hear that you’re still struggling. It may be worth seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist if you haven’t already to see if they can help with exercises to relax your PF. I am unsure whether to ask for a c section or to try a natural birth - so hard to know what’s the best thing to do

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in