In Season 6, Episode 1 (2:28-3:42) of “Girlfriends,” we see Joan and William in bed together after a drunken night of attempted, but unsuccessful sex. William calls Joan an “ooch, ouch girl” which to me means he had a hard time getting in there. Joan, of course, laments the title saying their inability to get it on wasn’t her fault. You know, she had been drinking and it had been awhile, and she’d never had this problem before. Plus, if you watched Girlfriends then you know William was packing. All of that combined could make it hard for anyone to get going.
I’m not here to talk about Girlfriends though. That’s just the intro, scene setting ting. Today we’re gonna discuss two things that can make sex painful: Endometriosis and having a sensitive vagina.
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus, being found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or intestines. The most common symptoms are pelvic pain, pain with sex and menstrual irregularities. It can be treated with hormones or surgery, but there is no cure. One in ten women or about eleven percent of the population has this disorder. Endometriosis can also make getting and staying pregnant harder.
Sensitive vagina. I don’t know why I didn’t realize this was or could be a thing. Vaginae can be sensitive to lots of semen, latex, different types of lube, the list really goes on. This sensitivity can result in one’s pH being thrown off after sexual activity leading to bacterial vaginosis or other non-STI vaginal infections along with general pain with sex. Apparently, and yes, I got this from a healthcare professional, Black women have a higher disposition to BV than other demographics of women, which isn’t to say yeast infections don’t afflict us as well. Just that if you feel like you get BV more than a yeast infection it could be because of all that melanin. It’s worth noting that BV and yeast aren’t STI’s (sexually transmitted infections). BV is just a result of your vaginas sensitivity to something that threw its pH off. And yeast infections can be caused by everything from stress, to poor eating habits to hormones being out of whack due to no fault of your own.
I’m not going to get into any remedies for endometriosis because I’m not a healthcare professional. But, my gynecologist did mention some potential remedies or ways to combat sensitive vagina issues. Here we go.
- The type of condom you use matters! I’m all for women buying their own condoms and I think it becomes even more important if you have a sensitive vagina. My doctor recommended looking for anything with the words ‘Sensitive’ explicitly on the packaging because that’s going to be better than something that doesn’t have it on there. She said lambskin condoms might also be a good alternative because latex can apparently also have an impact on sensitive vaginas without being a full-on latex allergy. NEWS TO ME!
- Use lube but avoid the warming, scented, and even some silicone-based products! Again, items that say ‘Sensitive’ are better than those that don’t. More on these in another post.
- Keep some RepHresh around. It contains medicine that can be used to correct an off pH but is an over-the-counter item. She recommended using it after sex (the box says before, but she said that’s a dub) if you know your pH is often thrown off post-sex.
- Last but not least, foreplay, foreplay, foreplay. With the clitoris. For 15 minutes minimum. This should help make sure things are nice and wet down there and hopefully reduce pain with sex. And if that’s not enough on its own, lube, lube, lube.
Again, I’m not a doctor, but I am reporting what my doctor told me in the hopes that it might be informative for someone else. Just one of many more openly sex and sexual health articles coming to RXY. Welcome to: The Things Folk Do For Sex.