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Pain During Sex

Sex doesn't feel right during pregnancy? Here's the info you need to figure out whether it's just another pregnancy symptom or something worth a trip to the OB.

What is pain during sex?

Any pain or discomfort (down there), from an ache to a cramp to a sharp or burning pain, during intercourse or orgasm.

What could be causing pain during sex?

An STD like chlamydia, endometriosis, an infection like trichomoniasis or a yeast infection can all cause pain during sex. If the pain is in your vagina, then it’s likely due to trichomoniasis or a yeast infection; if the pain is in your cervix (higher up), an STD may be to blame.

But it could just be because you’re pregnant. That’s because your entire pelvic region gets significantly more blood flow during pregnancy, and for some women, “that engorgement is just uncomfortable,” says Sarah Prager, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington. Not to mention the fact that your bigger-than-usual uterus sits lower in your pelvis, so your guy could be, um, hitting against your cervix in a new (and uncomfortable) way. Even orgasms can cause pain (say it ain’t so!) because they can cause uterine contractions.

When should I go to the doctor with pain during sex?

Call the doc if the pain keeps up after you’re done having sex, if it’s really significant pain, if it triggers contractions that don’t stop, if the pain is in your vagina or if you also have discharge, odor or bleeding.

How do I treat pain during sex?

If your pain is caused by an infection, your doc will likely prescribe pregnancy-safe antibiotics. Otherwise, try changing positions: Many pregnant women find that being on top or having their partner behind them during sex makes it more comfortable than the missionary position.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Sex feels different while pregnant?

Best Pregnancy Sex Positions

5 Pregnancy Sex Myths -- Busted

-- Erika Rasmusson Janes

See More: Pregnancy Symptoms , Pregnancy Conditions , Pregnancy Health

Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.