Some women have difficulties with penetrative sex, and may never have been able to be penetrated, despite wanting this to happen. Smear tests may have been very difficult or impossible to do, and tampon use may be difficult. Other women may have been able to have penetrative sex and have used tampons, but find that difficulty in penetration develops after an event such as a traumatic delivery. This can be extremely distressing for both the sufferer and their partner. The cause is always psychological and sex therapy has outstanding results with this problem.

Pain on intercourse (dysparunia)

Both men and women can experience pain through intercourse.

Women can experience pain when they are not fully aroused and penetration takes place. Some sexual positions can involve deeper penetration and can be painful.  Medical conditions such as pelvic infections, surgery and childbirth injuries can also cause pain.Vaginal dryness after the menopause may also be a cause.

Men can experience pain on intercourse if their foreskin is tight (phimosis). This occurs in uncircumcised men and can lead to infections.