Possible causes You may have a vaginal infection, such as thrush or a sexually transmitted infection (p.267). Consult your doctor.

Action Your doctor will examine you. If you have thrush, you will be prescribed an antifungal drug and advised on measures for preventing vaginal thrush (p.266). If a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is possible, your doctor may refer you to an STI clinic for tests and appropriate treatment.

Have you just had sexual intercourse for the first time?

Possible cause It is relatively common for women to feel some pain when they first have sexual intercourse. This is especially likely if the hymen, the membrane that partially covers the opening to the vagina, is still intact.

Action Try using a water-soluble lubricating jelly before intercourse. Sex should become less painful on subsequent occasions.

Have you had prolonged, particularly vigorous, or very frequent intercourse?

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