Mostly cured, but still have soreness after sex

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    Hi there. I’m new to the forum. I tried to use the search-bar without any results, so that’s why I’m making a post.

    I’ve had secondary vaginismus for a little over a year, and finally found a good PT back in early January. Since then I’ve used dilators daily, and did that for 4-5 weeks constantly until my PT said I was basically cured. I did not attempt intercourse during those weeks, so it had been a couple of months since I had attempted anything penetrative with a partner.

    So I was ruled cured by my PT, who did an internal check and didn’t find any tightness anymore. Very good, very well! I can also comfortably use a dildo a little bit bigger than my boyfriend’s penis. It’s a bit hard to go in if I dilate normally, but if I masturbate at the same time it goes in smooth and is quite pleasureable. I can move it quite a bit too without any discomfort, and I don’t get sore after.

    ANYWAYS. I’ve had successful sex with my partner 3-4 times now since then, with varying degrees of soreness afterwards. We always warm up properly, and insertion feels great, I rarely feel anything uncomfortable during sex either, even if it lasts 30 mins or 5 mins. It “slips right in” most of the time, and doesn’t feel tight. Still, the last 3 times I’ve had great soreness afterwards- which makes peeing/wiping myself afterwards feel very painful, and also wearing tight underwear is uncomfortable. It takes about 3 days to fully heal and then I’m good to go again.

    My PT said there was no need to keep dilating, but encouraged me to keep doing it if it made me feel safer, as I’ve obviously gotten quite scared of penetration after having this problem for a year+. I have dilated a few times after that, but not consistently as I’ve had such success with sex.

    I really want to figure out why I still get sore, it seems my vagina is kind of fragile and any “fast” sex seems to make me easily sore- even though I can masturbate with a dildo without a problem (all though it’s not moving as much or as fast as during sex). I use plenty of lube both on my own and with the partner, and use a water-based one that doesn’t sting or cause any uncomfortableness.

    So my questions are:

    1) Should I keep dilating daily, will this have any effect?
    2) Could the outer parts of my vagina be oversensitive after having vaginismus for 1+ year, and if so, what works to make this go away?
    3) Any other ideas on how to make this go away? Anyone else had this problem and figured it out?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Helen Leff, LCSW

    Hi tetra444, Congrats on being able to have penetrative sex and having pursued pelvic floor PT. Our maintenance dilation protocol at Maze is that once you have had pain free successful intercourse a bunch of times putting something inside the vagina 3X a week whether it’s a dilator, dildo, penis… is important to make sure the muscles “remember” to stretch and relax! Soreness after can be because the tissue at the entryway to the vagina (the vestibule) is somewhat fragile and the penis is putting pressure on that area through thrusting and moving in and out. Perhaps massaging coconut oil at the entryway will help or discussing it with your gyn. Our vulvar/vaginal tissue is dependent on hormones to stay well elasticized and perhaps your gyn can prescribe a topical hormonal cream or suppository that can help.
    Keep us posted,


    Thank you so much for your reply. I actually have a prescription free hormonal cream that I can try out. It’s meant for internal use (with an applicator), but since my problem area is just at the vestibule, do you think it would be OK to focus the cream on this area? The vaginal tissue on the inside feels very healthy and OK, it’s simply the outside/entrance part that feels fragile.


    Yes…you can absolutely focus the cream right at the vestibule, massage it into the area. I often encourage patients to apply a cream at the vestibule, and then dilate for about 10 minutes. The dilator will help with ensuring the cream is into the tissue, and it will also take a little of the cream inside the vagina, which is also a good thing.

    If there is an area that you think needs help…focus the cream right at that spot too.


    Hi tetra444!
    I too have dealt with this! Our bodies are so peculiar every given day of the week. I found that if it’s my first time having sex in a few days, I’ll pick a position where I’m in control, usually me on top of my husband. Since it’s my first day in quite a few, I expect I’d be sore afterwards.. but using lots of lube and not going really rough(after a break from penetration, I tend to be tighter) usually helps me!
    If I have sex the next day too, I know my body will be better prepared and we can go more rough.
    You have accomplished so much and everything seems like it’s going really well! I think you may just need to tune into yourself and see what may be causing this.
    Have you thought about a semen allergy maybe? I know a lot of females get really sore 5-10 minutes after having semen in there.
    I hope this helps!! Oh, you can also use a nice warm cloth or even a cool one down there, it really takes the swelling and soreness out!


    Thank you both for your nice answers. I’ve started applying the hormone cream every evening, and also continuing dilation. I am only able to see my BF in the weekends, so to reassure myself that I’m still able to have PIV I like to dilate a few times just to keep myself in that positive mindset. It makes me feel proud of myself when I’m able to use the biggest dilator/dildo during dilation/masturbation, so I don’t mind it!!

    I doubt I have a semen allergy, I’ve never really responded poorly to that before- I had sex for 7 good years before I got vaginismus. I’m also very careful with hygiene products (I only use water to wash myself down there), and I hardly wear tight underwear- mostly just cotton, or nothing at all (we’re all home all week anyways these days..).

    But thank you so much, Heather, for reassuring me that this may just pass with time too, and that it’s normal. Since I’m only able to have PIV about once a week (depending on what time me and my BF have when we are together), I’m gonna assume it will only get better in time as I’m currently moving back to my home town where he lives, and therefore mgiht be able to have sex several times a week!!

    I don’t mind a little soreness, I mean, it’s normal to feel that “somethings happened” down there after sex, but having problems wiping I think is a bit too sore- I’d like to get to a point where that won’t happen.


    Oh okay, so you’re only having penetrative sex once a week. That could be it! Especially if you’re doing other positions that don’t replicate the position you dilate in. I’m glad I could offer some relief 🙂 The more you have sex, and it’s more often than not, very enjoyable- your brain will understand the concept that sex is amazing and safe and there’s no reason to fear, causing the muscles to spasm. And that’ll stop. I hope all goes smoothly with your move, and that you’re able to have the amazing sex life you deserve! Definitely keep dilating, and don’t skimp on the lube 🙂


    I wanted to provide a small update. Last weekend we attempted PIV again, all though this time we tried with me on top first, so I could control the insertion. This worked really well, and I’m happy to say that we didn’t even have any foreplay beforehand- just used lube. It seems that if I’m careful with the initial insertion (taking it slow, a bit in, then out, then more in, then out, and slowly getting it all the way in) is very important to avoid the soreness in the first place. After taking a couple of minutes to get him all the way in, and then go slow for a few minutes, it was completely pain free, no matter how fast it went after that. And afterwards there was no pain or soreness what so ever!! If it weren’t for the fact that I had to go home the next morning we would’ve had sex the day after too. It felt really good to not be sore for days afterwards, but just feel normal.

    I’ll keep using the hormonal cream for now, I’m not sure if it helps or not yet, but I’ll try for a few more weeks just to see if it does. But I had the best PIV experience so far and I’m so happy!!

    Thank you guys for the advice and support, it means so much.


    Hi tetra444 – I’ve been following your thread and am SO glad to hear it’s been going better! Even after treating vaginismus there’s often periods of adjustment like this that are necessary to figure out what causes pain and how to treat it. I’d recommend continuing to use all the methods that have been working for awhile so you can continue to determine that the combination definitely works, then if you want to try to strip some of the elements of that preparation away you can try it without the hormone cream, while dilating less, or whatever else to see how your body responds. It’s great that you can have pain-free intercourse in the meantime and have found what works for you!

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