When sex hurts

"Am I Normal?": A woman wants to know how to fix the burning pain she experiences after sex

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published March 2, 2012 1:00AM (EST)

        (Salon/<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-15043942'>Jose AS Reyes</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Salon/Jose AS Reyes via Shutterstock)

Send your "Am I Normal?" questions to tracy [at] salon.com.

I've been having pain after sex for almost a year. I brought it up with my GYN, who was unsure what the issue was (we went over shaving, lack of foreplay/lubricant, possible UTI, "mismatched" genitals, none of which were an issue). I ended up having a mild bacterial infection and went on antibiotics, and she suggested I use a sensitive-skin allergy-free lubricant in addition to condoms or pulling out (to prevent pH imbalance/infection from semen).

After following this advice for months, I'm still having a burning pain around the vulva after sex, which lasts for a few hours. It has drastically diminished my sex drive and is driving a wedge between my partner and me. I'm also a young nonprofit professional on a limited budget, and can't afford many more $50 GYN visits to fix the problem. Help!

I'm afraid you’re not going to like the answers I got from my experts. In fact, their prescription may sound even worse to you than the prospect of "mismatched" genitals: You gotta spend that $50 to go to your doctor again -- or to a more affordable women's health clinic, if...

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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