How To Deal If Your Vagina Is Sore After Sex

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
Waddling around when you're sore after sex is about as fun as having sore muscles after a tough workout. Luckily, there are a few ways to soothe your pain post-sex, but first you have to figure out what's causing it.
If you're someone with a vagina, there are two types of pain that you should be aware of, entry pain and deep pain, says Carolyn Alexander, MD, FCOG, a board-certified Ob/Gyn at Southern California Reproductive Center in Los Angeles. Both of these types have different culprits and require different treatments.
With entry pain, you may feel soreness around the vulva during or after penetration, and often it's caused by a lubrication issue, Dr. Alexander says. "If the person hasn't had intimacy in a long time, sometimes that can cause some soreness there." Or if you have a vaginal infection (like a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis), irritation in your vaginal canal might contribute to the pain during sex, according to the Mayo Clinic. Usually, this type of pain is caused by friction, and it isn't a huge deal, but it can be pretty uncomfortable.
On the other hand, deep pain is a little more serious, Dr. Alexander says. Certain pelvic conditions, like endometriosis or ovarian cysts, can sometimes cause a deep pain during penetration, she says. Or if you have an STI (like gonorrhea or chlamydia), there can be irritation on the cervix, she says. "If people have very severe pain during intercourse or after, that would alarm me," she says. See your Ob/Gyn for an evaluation if this kind of pain is persistent.
But if you're just dealing with entry pain caused by a little friction, ahead are some ways to find some relief.