My boyfriend and I have tried to have sex many times, but every time he tries to insert his penis it really hurts. Recently, I tried touching the opening of my vagina with a finger, again I had really bad pain. We did get his penis in all the way one time, but it was painful. Please help!

So glad you asked us this question! For some, conversations about sex are awkward or uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be this way. Talking about sex is how you learn, especially what is consider normal and what isn’t. Pain with sex is actually more common than you might think, but that doesn’t mean its normal, especially if you have been trying for a while.

Here are a few reasons why you might be having pain. The pain could be related to a very small opening in your hymen, to a vaginal infection such as a yeast infection, or to a problem such as vulvodynia. Only a health care provider (HCP) or gynecologist can determine the cause of your pain, so it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment. When you see your gynecologist or HCP, be sure to describe your symptoms and when you experience them in detail. This can help them determine the cause for the pain. It’s likely that you’re HCP or gynecologist will check the size of your vaginal opening and check for infection. You may also have a common condition called vulvodynia. This condition causes the area around your vagina is supersensitive to touching; you HCP will touch the area just outside your vagina with a Q-tip to see if that is the painful area.

If you have seen your health care provider (HCP) and you are still searching for an answer, talk to your provider about a possible Latex allergy or the need for lubrication (lube). Many condoms on the market contain Latex, which some people are allergic to. You can try condoms that don’t contain latex. You may also want to try adding in a lubricant (K-Y Jelly), if your vagina is dry continuous rubbing can make it uncomfortable. Remember, take your time with sex; it isn’t a race and you shouldn’t be pressured to move quickly. If you continue to experience pain, talk to your health care provider (HCP).