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Pain during intercourse and zero sex drive

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  • DesertGirl
    started a topic Pain during intercourse and zero sex drive

    Pain during intercourse and zero sex drive

    I have never really had a high sex drive but I did at least get horny occasionally in my 20's. I am now 40 and have been married for 13 years. Over the last 4 years my desire for sex has diminished completely and sex is even more painful than before. I have felt angry and resentful that I don't get to enjoy sex while my husband does, so that affects my willingness to try anymore. I love my husband so I want to try to fix it for that reason, but my expectations are low that this will get resolved. I have read books, seen a sex therapist and have been to physical therapy; all not helpful. My current mental state in regards to sex at this point is very grim. I need help. If I were single, I would probably just give up all together being with men to avoid this issue all together. Since I am not, I am desperately needing some help so I can keep my relationship and maybe enjoy sex for once in my life. I would actually like to enjoy sex for me and me alone, but since my libido is so low, my desire to have sex or even masterbate is counterproductive. Psychologically for me, in the most simplest explanation, intimacy=sex=pain=avoidance. I love my husband, but my flight-or-fight responses make me push him away and he knows it. I don't know where to start.

  • MrMr
    replied
    It sounds like a combination of a hormonal imbalance due to both medication and depression.

    Anti depressants lower sex drive and along with the pill could confuse your body.

    I had no sex drive during the peak of my ptsd. But i still recognised the fact i wanted to have sex.

    I started just exploring sexual kinks and masturbation with just myself. Being able to get horny and orgasm by myself was a step forward to having sex again.

    With your partner you can eliminate the pain aspect with masturbation. Don't have penetrative sex until you feel it will be pain free.

    Read books, forums, watch porn. Push your boundaries but with only yourself. Allow yourself to feel sexy again.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrMr
    replied
    I've been doing bikram yoga for the past 6 months and it's changed everything in my life. The most bad *** people in the class are older middle aged women and they rock!

    One of the instructors is in her 60s and frequently talks about the benefits it makes to her sex life.

    Leave a comment:


  • britneyj28
    replied
    Dwindling estrogen due to menopause is the No. 1 reason for sex pain at midlife and beyond. Hormone shifts make the tissues in your vagina become thin and dry. Dryness can add friction during sex intimacy. Your vagina also stretches less, which makes it feel tight.
    Last edited by jns; 07-15-2019, 08:24 PM. Reason: Outbound links are not allowed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Little_Man_in_the_Boat
    replied
    Originally posted by Texasred View Post
    One more thought: when you stop the bc pill, allow several months, maybe many months, for your body to adjust. Don't expect an overnight change.
    I think you're right.

    Being on the pill for an extended period of time the body adjusts to it.

    Going off the pill like you say may take quite some time to readjust the hormone levels.

    Leave a comment:


  • Texasred
    replied
    One more thought: when you stop the bc pill, allow several months, maybe many months, for your body to adjust. Don't expect an overnight change.

    Leave a comment:


  • Little_Man_in_the_Boat
    replied
    Originally posted by DesertGirl View Post
    Wow. Thank you all for your advice and impute. I will certainly try many of these suggestions with care and open-mindedness as I do not like feeling this way both physically and emotionally. Life is too short and I want to enjoy myself while I can. Keep it coming if you have other suggestions, please! My first step: Talk honestly and frankly with my husband. Step 2: I am cautiously and responsibly going to eliminate the birth control to see where my hormones are at naturally. Maybe then my attitude and mood will also change for better in regards to sex and I'll move forward slowly from there with your suggestions, especially the simple act of being touched; I do need to get over the flight -or -fight thing first. Thanks again.
    your welcome.

    Anything that we fear we must face despite how difficult it may seem. Fear itself is just fear its not rational nor is it as bad as we perceive.

    Many of us stay in our comfort zones but unfortunately that does not confront or resolve the problems that we face in our lives.

    I don't blame some people for not being able to confront their worst problems. Sometimes they are so bad that we just cant get over them.

    Still the only way to be free is to face it and conquer our own irrational fears.

    You are one of many that experience traumas.

    The day after my mother died my father told me my mother got raped at age nine which was very upsetting yet it revealed a lot about the way she behaved throughout her life. Sadly it was the raped that ultimately contributed to her death.

    Anyway, I hope the advice I have given will set you free and improve your marriage.

    Take care.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrMr
    replied
    Originally posted by DesertGirl View Post
    Wow. Thank you all for your advice and impute. I will certainly try many of these suggestions with care and open-mindedness as I do not like feeling this way both physically and emotionally. Life is too short and I want to enjoy myself while I can. Keep it coming if you have other suggestions, please! My first step: Talk honestly and frankly with my husband. Step 2: I am cautiously and responsibly going to eliminate the birth control to see where my hormones are at naturally. Maybe then my attitude and mood will also change for better in regards to sex and I'll move forward slowly from there with your suggestions, especially the simple act of being touched; I do need to get over the flight -or -fight thing first. Thanks again.
    The fight or flight gene in our body can dictate our lives! Learning how to mentally control that generally leads to a better life

    Leave a comment:


  • DesertGirl
    replied
    Wow. Thank you all for your advice and impute. I will certainly try many of these suggestions with care and open-mindedness as I do not like feeling this way both physically and emotionally. Life is too short and I want to enjoy myself while I can. Keep it coming if you have other suggestions, please! My first step: Talk honestly and frankly with my husband. Step 2: I am cautiously and responsibly going to eliminate the birth control to see where my hormones are at naturally. Maybe then my attitude and mood will also change for better in regards to sex and I'll move forward slowly from there with your suggestions, especially the simple act of being touched; I do need to get over the flight -or -fight thing first. Thanks again.

    Leave a comment:


  • Little_Man_in_the_Boat
    replied
    Originally posted by DesertGirl View Post
    In regards to your first question:
    I had physical therapy cause I am very tight down there which adds to the discomfort/pain during Pap smears and sex. The physical therapist gave me dilators to work with at home to help stretch out my vulva. They also hooked some electrodes around my pelvic muscles to give me biofeedback which is to help me learn to have control over relaxing the muscles. I did this for a while till my insurance wouldn't cover any more visits; it didn't seem to help much anyway. I understand the concept, and in theory this type of exercise should help but I think this is more hormonal and physiological for me. Otherwise my GP has said I am normal down there. My gyno said she can run hormone tests for me but I am using birth control so the tests wouldn't be accurate. (background: I have been on birth control since I was 16 for irregular and painful periods and have been on it ever since as I also do not want to get pregnant. I have never been pregnant and do not desire to be, so am hesitant to stop birth control). Yes, my thyroid has been checked and it is normal.
    The pain with sex is that I am dry (maybe cause I am never aroused or horny), so I use lube. My vulva is very tight so it takes time to stretch out and my skin down there gets sore and raw after sex. During deep penetration it hurts like things are being knocked around especially my bladder. FYI,I am small and my husband is very large. Nothing about being penetrated feels good. I don't orgasm during intercourse even during the rare occasions that sex isn't hurting me so much. My body clenches up to brace myself for the ride and I'm consciously trying to make an effort to relax but any discomfort acts against me.
    Maybe if I were horny and aroused it wouldn't hurt so bad, but how do you make yourself get horny? I exercise and I eat very healthy, so it is not my diet or poor health. I have regular(uncomfortable) Paps, so as far as we know my genitalia is normal. I do have a history of getting chronic yeast infections but I think that was a combination of hanging out in the hot tub too much and using soap to clean down there.
    I have been more depressed and more irritable; not really feeling like my chipper and optimistic self the last couple years. Life stuff happens that make me moody sometimes but I never used to get so upset about them. It feels like I have lost connection with myself and some loss of control over my moods. I used to be more level headed and controlled. Could it be menopause already? You mentioned menopause but I thought that doesn't hit women till 50 years old. How would I know? I still have periods (on the pill).
    Also, psychologically speaking, I have never been comfortable with sex even when I was younger. I had a hard time using tampons. After looking into it when I was in my early 20's I ended up having a hymenectomy cause it was so thick, I think (long time ago, so can't remember why). I grew up religious (not at all anymore) and was told that masturbation was bad, so that probably did some things to my mind. I had a perverted grandfather but don't recall any incidences occurring to me personally, but he did touch my sister. My Therapist said it's possible not to remember something traumatic like that especially if I was too young to know what happened; I honestly don't know if I was inappropriately touched as a child (no recall).
    As you can see, It's so complicated that I have no idea where to go from here. I have already asked for help from experts and with no avail, I am still in the same spot.

    Your tight down there because that's your bodies defense mechanism. Its like puttying your hands out as soon as you fall. It sounds like you have vaginismus which is what you appear to be describing. That would explain the dilators.

    I think the birth control pill is affecting your enjoyment of intercourse and your libido although this is a contentious issue.

    Medical experts have been aware of the potential side effects of birth control pills for years, including weight gain, depression, headaches – and sexual dysfunction. This latter effect includes:
    • Decreased libido
    • Decreased enjoyment from sexual intercourse
    • Decreased lubrication during intercourse
    from a biological perspective sex is about getting pregnant and having a baby its not really about pleasure that's just a side affect.

    Which means part of the excitement and arousal is the desire to get pregnant that's biology.

    Us humans want the pleasure but not always the baby which is going against nature.

    Your husband is big which is just exasperating the situation. If he's long and thick and hitting the cervix that's not good.

    Hot tubs are notorious for carrying bacteria and or viruses, unless they are cleaned very well. Id be avoiding that for sure.

    The vagina is self cleaning and you should not be using soap internally. Just use a very mild soap on your vulva.

    The depression is the pain and the unresolved issue of sex I guess.

    You've reach a pinnacle of depression that's been building up over many years that's would explain the depression, moodiness and irritability.

    I read a book decades ago called "Human Sexual Dysfunction" - Masters and Johnson. In that book they talk about case studies and the worst sexual issues stem from parents that instilled strict religious doctrine into their children and like you mentioned "Don't touch down there because you might enjoy it which is evil" its these experiences that rob women of their ability to enjoy sex to its fullest extent. or worse they end up causing very serious sexual problems. Most of those bad case studies were able to be resolved over time except one which must have been chronically bad.

    perverted grandfather: If you got molested this is I guess the root cause of you sexual problems. its quite common that these things happen. As a young boy I came very close to getting molested myself. Ive know many women who have told me similar stories.

    If you had been interfered with then I would be surprised if you had a repressed it because obviously its not something you want to recall.

    Well I would stop having sex and if its possible you need to have a long and intimate talk to your husband.

    Maybe over time with patience and perseverance you can resolve this problem.

    the physical problems heal quickly but the psychological issues maybe a lot harder to deal with still I think if your partner is willing and patient I guess most things can be resolved.

    I would as your husband avoid penetration for a long time and just concentrate on foreplay.

    Hours upon hours of foreplay.

    Caressing, gentle kissing, him behind non threating, hours of foreplay still he may not be that type of guy. If hes a blokey kind of man then that may not be ideal.

    I think you need to be honest with him. If you don't like him performing cunnilingus or you don't like fellatio you need to be honest in regards to things like that. the last thing you want to do is restimulate past bad experiences or things you just don't like.

    He needs to get constant feed back and hopefully he's patient and loving and the type of man that will work with you through this issue.

    I'm the type that never has sex unless she's wet and if she not its straight for the lube because being dry is a no no. dryness lead to pain and pain to more pain and it just gets worse.

    Talk to him and guide him go slow take your time no need to rush.

    Maybe if you can at first learn to enjoy sex by yourself alone warm, comfortable, safe, just try to relax and enjoy yourself and then slowly work yourself back to your husband maybe if you just spend an hour on foreplay no penetration or penetration but no movements back and forth.

    Maybe if he just inserts himself after many months of just foreplay and doesn't do anything except sit their calm and relaxed.

    Start with foreplay.

    if you like cunnilingus and you feel okay about it maybe you can just focus on him pleasing you.

    initially perhaps you will feel maybe apprehensive but maybe gradually and slowly over time it will improve.

    I would maybe start with the foreplay,

    then maybe slowly and very carefully introduce his penis into you. just gently slide it in and stop. no thrusting. just leave it in their for 20 minutes then withdraw.

    try that three times per week, just gently and slowly introduce his penis and just again sit their for 20 minutes then withdraw.

    Keep doing it for maybe months.

    then try sliding it in and out once or twice with lube or better you getting naturally wet if that's possible.

    gradually go from one thrust to two then three then four then five then six

    if its even slightly painful or sore stop don't allow any pain just be patient and persistent.

    Slowly but surely and hopefully this works and eventually it will improve.

    Only move forward if there is no pain or discomfort.

    One pump over six months, two pumps over the next six months see how it pans out.

    I think you can do it still its hard to know what will work and what wont. Just see how you go and hopefully you see some good results.
    Last edited by jns; 06-01-2019, 09:44 AM. Reason: Outbound links are not allowed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ashlee T.
    replied
    DesertGirl - You're not alone in your desire to remain childfree. We recently published an entire article about that choice. (It's a good coffee time read: https://www.womens-health.com/childfree-by-choice)

    Something you said stood out: "but I am using birth control so the tests wouldn't be accurate"

    The complete lack of sex drive is something I experienced while using hormonal birth control. I didn't have that issue for the first several years I took it, but eventually, it became a real thing. When you said you felt you could give up sex forever and not mind - that is EXACTLY how I felt, too. I even said the words, "I don't think I'd care if I ever had sex again." I'm also sure your pain is probably a result of no sex drive, not producing adequate lubrication (and no, lube isn't the same), etc.

    So there's that. But then the moodiness and feeling listless. I had that too. I felt like my life was an emotional rollercoaster. I thought I suffered from depression or maybe even some sort of manic disorder. Quite simply, I just didn't feel good. And I felt that way for so many years, I had forgotten what "normal" was for me. And even better? Numerous OBGYN's during that time told me that my symptoms could NOT be caused by the pill.

    But they were wrong. ALL of that changed for me tremendously once I made the decision to go off the pill. I read a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and decided to actively practice the Fertility Awareness Method. That method takes serious dedication and even then, isn't foolproof. It isn't something I recommend for everyone even though everyone should at least be aware of it.

    So, what is the other option? Vasectomy. If kids are off the table and if hormonal bc is wreaking havoc on your life, why not have the husband get the old snip snip and be done with it? More and more guys are doing this these days. I'm in my 30's and have several friends whose husbands have done this so they can get off bc and not worry about pregnancy. It's easy, only temporarily even mildly uncomfortable and then it's over. Have you all considered that?

    Leave a comment:


  • Little_Man_in_the_Boat
    replied
    Originally posted by DesertGirl View Post
    I have never really had a high sex drive but I did at least get horny occasionally in my 20's. I am now 40 and have been married for 13 years. Over the last 4 years my desire for sex has diminished completely and sex is even more painful than before. I have felt angry and resentful that I don't get to enjoy sex while my husband does, so that affects my willingness to try anymore. I love my husband so I want to try to fix it for that reason, but my expectations are low that this will get resolved. I have read books, seen a sex therapist and have been to physical therapy; all not helpful. My current mental state in regards to sex at this point is very grim. I need help. If I were single, I would probably just give up all together being with men to avoid this issue all together. Since I am not, I am desperately needing some help so I can keep my relationship and maybe enjoy sex for once in my life. I would actually like to enjoy sex for me and me alone, but since my libido is so low, my desire to have sex or even masterbate is counterproductive. Psychologically for me, in the most simplest explanation, intimacy=sex=pain=avoidance. I love my husband, but my flight-or-fight responses make me push him away and he knows it. I don't know where to start.
    Well the first thing you need to do is to stop having sex. If your in pain then stop immediately. You need to talk to your husband and be honest about it. Is your husband the type of man that you cant talk to and resolve issues ?

    Leave a comment:


  • jns
    replied
    Probably the best way for most women to get to orgasm is through her partner giving her oral sex. Another way is through use of fingers to stimulate the clitoris and possibly other areas : vulva, inner thighs, breasts, etc. Does your husband do any of these to try to get you to orgasm?Do you let him? Does he want to try?

    Being horny to start with getting your body ready for sex is good, but it is not an absolute requirement for having satisfying sex.

    Leave a comment:


  • DesertGirl
    replied
    In regards to your first question:
    I had physical therapy cause I am very tight down there which adds to the discomfort/pain during Pap smears and sex. The physical therapist gave me dilators to work with at home to help stretch out my vulva. They also hooked some electrodes around my pelvic muscles to give me biofeedback which is to help me learn to have control over relaxing the muscles. I did this for a while till my insurance wouldn't cover any more visits; it didn't seem to help much anyway. I understand the concept, and in theory this type of exercise should help but I think this is more hormonal and physiological for me. Otherwise my GP has said I am normal down there. My gyno said she can run hormone tests for me but I am using birth control so the tests wouldn't be accurate. (background: I have been on birth control since I was 16 for irregular and painful periods and have been on it ever since as I also do not want to get pregnant. I have never been pregnant and do not desire to be, so am hesitant to stop birth control). Yes, my thyroid has been checked and it is normal.
    The pain with sex is that I am dry (maybe cause I am never aroused or horny), so I use lube. My vulva is very tight so it takes time to stretch out and my skin down there gets sore and raw after sex. During deep penetration it hurts like things are being knocked around especially my bladder. FYI,I am small and my husband is very large. Nothing about being penetrated feels good. I don't orgasm during intercourse even during the rare occasions that sex isn't hurting me so much. My body clenches up to brace myself for the ride and I'm consciously trying to make an effort to relax but any discomfort acts against me.
    Maybe if I were horny and aroused it wouldn't hurt so bad, but how do you make yourself get horny? I exercise and I eat very healthy, so it is not my diet or poor health. I have regular(uncomfortable) Paps, so as far as we know my genitalia is normal. I do have a history of getting chronic yeast infections but I think that was a combination of hanging out in the hot tub too much and using soap to clean down there.
    I have been more depressed and more irritable; not really feeling like my chipper and optimistic self the last couple years. Life stuff happens that make me moody sometimes but I never used to get so upset about them. It feels like I have lost connection with myself and some loss of control over my moods. I used to be more level headed and controlled. Could it be menopause already? You mentioned menopause but I thought that doesn't hit women till 50 years old. How would I know? I still have periods (on the pill).
    Also, psychologically speaking, I have never been comfortable with sex even when I was younger. I had a hard time using tampons. After looking into it when I was in my early 20's I ended up having a hymenectomy cause it was so thick, I think (long time ago, so can't remember why). I grew up religious (not at all anymore) and was told that masturbation was bad, so that probably did some things to my mind. I had a perverted grandfather but don't recall any incidences occurring to me personally, but he did touch my sister. My Therapist said it's possible not to remember something traumatic like that especially if I was too young to know what happened; I honestly don't know if I was inappropriately touched as a child (no recall).
    As you can see, It's so complicated that I have no idea where to go from here. I have already asked for help from experts and with no avail, I am still in the same spot.


    Leave a comment:


  • atskitty2
    replied
    First question: Why physical therapy for this?
    Have you spoken to a physician about this? Either gyno or GP? Were any tests for hormones and thyroid checks done?

    What is painful about sex for you? This is important for a few reasons, so I would like to try to understand if the pain is from a lack of lubrication or if there's a structural issue, and from that we can maybe learn how this part of the problem can be helped.

    You're approaching menopause, so I have to think hormones are playing a role in the changes that started 4 years ago.

    I commend you for seeking help for this, and I thank you for coming to our forum for guidance. I hope you can give more detail and we can help you improve this part of your life.

    Leave a comment:

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