1. Don’t panic
The first thing people do when something hurts is panic. What happened? What went wrong? Is it syphilis? What if I’ve had syphilis this whole time and this is the first symptom? Let me just quickly WebMD oh my god I’m going to die. I’m actually dying right now. This is, of course, all made worse if there’s a secondary symptom. An area that appears to be redder than usual, some blood, painful cramping. In the span of thirty seconds you may be able to convince yourself that you’re having a miscarriage, that you’re deeply wounded, that you’ve broken your vagina. Panicking does one thing: makes everything appear worse than it probably is. It may even generate symptoms that wouldn’t have been there if you had not panicked, like a racing heartbeat, a headache, feeling faint or nauseous.
2. Stop what you’re doing
There are a lot of reasons something might hurt, but the general rule is if it hurts, stop doing it. There are a lot of people out there that like to rationalize things like “sex always hurts the first time!” or “anal sex is just painful!” but this is inaccurate and dangerous. If something hurts it is likely your body saying “no, stop, you’re not doing this correctly or this is something I am unable to do right now/ever.” If it stops don’t just keep doing it and hope that the pain will go away or get better. Figure out where the pain is coming from and evaluate how you can prevent that pain from happening again.
3. Determine where the pain is coming from
There are a lot of areas that can experience pain and it’s not done any favors by how many nerve endings are around the vagina and vulva. You could experience chafing from not having enough lubrication, you could experience some tenderness from penetration before your body was relaxed enough, you may pinch your labia if they get caught in the action, you may have a sensitivity to a lube or condom, you could get any part cut by a long fingernail, or your cervix bumped or bruised by an over-eager/aggressive thrust. Certain positions could prove to be uncomfortable. Maybe you get a cramp somewhere entirely unrelated because the position you were holding was uncomfortable. Lower back pain is common. Leg cramps are common. Bumping your head in the headboard is common. Where is the pain coming from, do you know? Evaluate.
4. Focus on comfort
If you determine where the pain was and why it occurred you can often go about your business and everything is fine. But, sometimes, the pain doesn’t go away. A bruised cervix, for instance, might provide intense cramping. A cut labia or raw vaginal canal may bleed slightly. If your discomfort continues, focus on finding comfort. Cotton underwear, soft and loose fitting pants, a blanket, a heating pad, a cup of tea, some ibuprofen.
5. Watch for new symptoms
If your pain does not lessen or it gets worse or if you see new symptoms, go to a doctor. Take notes of what is happening and when it happened. Especially if this pain happens more than once and you’re unable to figure out why it’s happening.
“Go to the doctor and get a professional opinion” is key for health issues and WebMD should not be consulted prior unless you totally hate yourself. Don’t ask me, I am not a doctor. Regular trips to a doctor are important to make sure that everything is a-okay. Remember to schedule health visits to get things like STD testings done, and pap smears at their recommended intervals.
Use common sense. If something is unusual for you and your body and it seems serious (excessive bleeding, cramps that make you pass out, your vagina starts frothing and screaming) go to urgent care.
Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit by clicking ask advice at the top and I’ll answer it on my blog.