When you're in the middle of penetrative sex and your vagina starts to hurt, you probably go through a silent checklist of what could be causing it: Is it a weird position? Do I need more lube? Do I have an infection? It might feel like a mystery of your vagina that you're doomed to suffer through, but pain during sex is not only pretty common — it's manageable, too. There's even a medical term for it: dyspareunia.
"Dyspareunia refers to pain with intercourse, and it encompasses a wide range of issues," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Yale University School of Medicine. The good news is that once you figure out the cause, there are plenty of ways to treat and manage the symptoms of dyspareunia, Dr. Minkin says.