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Women's Health

Acute lower left pain during intercourse

07/26/2010

Question:

Recently during intercourse, when entered from behind (aka doggy style) I experience an acute stabbing pain in my lower left side towards the front of my abdomen. I am a 39 year old female and have never felt this before. I am in a recently new relationship, and have not always felt this pain with my boyfriend. We have stopped when I feel this pain and have resumed in the missionary position which does not pose a problem, this is only felt during deep penetration and has happened twice so far. This time it was after menses. What could this be from?

Answer:

Pain felt during intercourse is called "dyspareunia."  When dyspareunia is insertional (that is felt mostly just during entry or the beginning of penetration), it is most likely due to a lesion or problem in the vulva or vagina.  When the dyspareunia is deep (that is felt mostly inside the pelvis during thrusting or after penetration is complete), the cause is more often an internal process having to do with the uterus, ovaries, tubes, bowel or bladder.

Such pain can be occasional or short-lived, in which case it may be due to a minor sensitivity much like a bruise.  This type of pain may go away with rest and be of no consequence.  For others, the pain can be persistent and occur with each act of coitus.  In such cases, it would be important to have an exam to rule out a significant condition such as an infection, tumor, or inflammatory process like endometriosis or interstitial cystitis (a bladder inflammation). 

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University