12 Women With Pelvic Pain Share How They Make Sex More Comfortable

BDG Media, Inc.

Experiencing a pelvic pain condition can be devastating, not only for the obvious reasons but also because it can take a toll on your sex life. But many women with pelvic pain have found workarounds that help them minimize pain during sex. You never have to push through sex when it's uncomfortable for you, but if you suffer from pelvic pain and you want to have sex, all hope isn't lost.

"If you are having pain regularly during intercourse, consult your physician to see if it's a biological problem," sex therapist Stephen Duclos tells Bustle. "If you've ruled out the biological component and lubrication doesn't work, then you probably need to see a sex therapist. [They] can help you investigate any physiological or social cause, or a problem with technique."

Sometimes, painful sex stems from situational factors like a lack of lubrication or arousal. Other times, the culprit is a medical condition like endometriosis, vulvodynia, or interstitial cystitis.

Because people with these conditions often have to come up with hacks to maintain their sex lives, I asked women who experience pelvic pain how they've managed to minimize pain during sex. Here are some tips from them that others dealing with painful sex might benefit from.


Plou, 39

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"Lube, vaginal Valium, CBD oil on [my vagina]."


Tamara, 23

"Use of vibrators during masturbation to keep vaginal passage stretched, and masturbating frequently to increase libido. Looking at sexual material and talking frequently and openly with partner about sex. Foreplay (including watching porn or reading erotica, oral and digital stimulation), clitoral stimulation using a vibrator during sex, lube, moving slowly, communication, waiting a couple days after sex to heal before having sex again. "


Suzanne, 39

"Lube, different positions such as on the side with hubby behind me."


Jen, 31

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"Lots of foreplay, lube, deep breathing, AZO."


Sara, 37

"Uribel one hour before, vaginal valium afterwards."


Allison, 27

"Coconut oil for lube, we go slow, proper position. I found that if I'm on my back, I need to put a pillow under my one leg so I'm not having to hold it up."


Melissa, 47

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"Good communication with partner."


Angel, 38



Lauren, 20

"Calm, understanding partner. Urinate as soon as before as possible, and stop to pee during if needed. Missionary position with lots of communication. Water-based lubrication applied a million times. Nothing rough, or fast, or too deep. Doesn't seem very fun once it's written down, but we both prefer this over me being in pain or him seeing me be in pain essentially due to him."


Heather, 40

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"Different positions, close relationship with partner, and good communication."


Luana, 23

"Positions and relaxation."


Natalia, 22

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"Masturbation before, during, and after."

These responses show that there are technical aspects to preventing pain during sex, but there are also emotional ones, like being close enough with your partner to talk about it. The first step is discussing your pain with them so that you both can come up with a solution together.